Medical Condition May Have Led to Driver Colliding With Pedestrian in Fatal Accident Today
This is a press release from the California Highway Patrol. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:
On March 9, 2017, at approximately 11:14 am, 56 year old Shirley Hoyt of Eureka, CA, was walking north on S Street crossing 4th Street in the painted crosswalk. Traffic on westbound 4th Street, which is a one-way street, had stopped for Ms. Hoyt.
56 year old Larry Nielsen was driving his 2012 Toyota Tacoma pickup westbound on 4th Street at a speed witnesses described as 50 mph or more. Mr. Nielsen passed the stopped traffic on the right and hit Ms. Hoyt in the crosswalk. Ms. Hoyt suffered major injuries and later died at St Joseph Hospital in Eureka; Mr. Nielsen continued through the intersection and fled the scene.
A witness from out of the area watched the entire incident and gave chase. The witness followed Mr. Nielsen to the intersection of N Street at 3rd Street in Eureka. With his own vehicle, the witness blocked the Toyota’s movement with his vehicle then confronted Mr. Nielsen. The witness detained Mr. Nielsen until officers from the Eureka Police Department arrived.
The Humboldt Area office of the California Highway Patrol has an agreement with the Eureka Police Department to investigate fatal traffic collisions on select streets in the City of Eureka. CHP officers arrived and are actively investigating this incident. Mr. Nielsen was taken to a local hospital for examination then booked into the Humboldt County Jail on charges including felony hit and run and vehicular manslaughter.
DUI was not a factor in this collision. However, Mr. Nielsen may have been experiencing an acute medical condition, and that may have been a factor in the collision. This incident remains under investigation and as further information becomes available, an updated press release may be distributed.