[UPDATE 7:55 p.m.] Major Traffic Accident, One Fatality by Pepperwood Exit
A multi-vehicle traffic collision near the Pepperwood exit has blocked three lanes of Hwy 101. The scanner is calling for multiple extrications. More ambulances have been requested and two air ambulances are “on order.”
A report from the scene reports there are five walking wounded, three in critical condition, one in serious condition.
Currently, there is one way controlled traffic.
This has activated a
Major Incident Command. a system of response called a Multiple Casualty Incident–This is used very rarely.
PLEASE avoid the area if possible. Remember you can take the Avenue but drive slowly. It will be busy.
UPDATE 3:43 P.M.: Hwy 101 is going to be closed. A helicopter is on the way but won’t get there until around 4:30. Multiple agencies are responding.
UPDATE 3:55 p.m.: The plan currently is to land the helicopter(s) north of the accident on Hwy 101.
UPDATE 3:58 p.m.: The plan is to shut down southbound entirely at Rio Dell so helicopter can land.
UPDATE 4:02 p.m.: A second helicopter is on its way to the incident. (There is now a five car accident north of Eureka.)
UPDATE 4:05 p.m.: One person is confirmed dead. One of the helicopters is cancelled. One helicopter is on scene at this time.
UPDATE 4:07 p.m.: According to a Caltrans spokesperson, “There was a crossover collision with unknown injuries at this time, and the road is fully closed. Caltrans crews are on their way and we’ll know more when they get there. We currently don’t have an estimated time of opening traffic. Motorists might want to consider using Avenue of the giants as an alternate route.”
UPDATE 4:25 p.m.: Photo courtesy of KMUD. Terri Klemetson provided it to them.
Even after the helicopter is gone, expect the highway to be impacted as emergency personnel will be getting equipment off highway and clearing up the wrecks.
UPDATE 4:29 p.m.: All southbound traffic has been diverted to the Avenue by exit 671, according to scanner traffic.
UPDATE 7:55 p.m.: Here’s some photos by Mike Cuddihy,