Leggett Man Arrested for DUI After Collision That Injured Myers Flat Toddler on Hwy 1


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:

[James Belch age 52 of Leggett] was driving [a 2000 GMC] northbound on SR-1 near milepost marker 1 MEN 84.5 at approximately 35-40 MPH. [Raeanna Baumann age 20 of Myers Flat] was driving [a 1998 Toyota] southbound on SR-1 north of [the GMC]. [Belch] was approaching a right hand curve in the roadway when he allowed [his vehicle] to drift to the left and cross over the solid double yellow lines. [It] proceeded into the southbound lane while traveling directly towards [the Toyota].

[Baumann] was driving…through the same curve at that moment when she saw [the GMC] traveling directly towards her. Due to the limited space of the roadway and minimal time to react, [Baumann]was unable to avoid a collision with [the GMC].

The front of [the GMC] collided into the front of [her vehicle]. Both vehicles came to rest within the roadway of SR-1 on their wheels.

[Michael Baumann III age 1] was transported from the scene and taken to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment of his injuries.

It is undetermined at this time whether [the toddler] was properly secured in his child seat at the time of the collision.

[Belch] was determined to be driving while under the influence of alcohol and placed under arrest.CHP accident report

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  • Common all over Humboldt. Approach those blind turns cautiously, there’s usually a grow dozer dragging a trailer in your lane.

  • Thanks for the follow-up on these very important stories Kym. So many times left wondering for days, weeks, months or longer about the local news.

  • Is “Belch” a name like “Smith”; “Miller”; “Carpenter”; “Cooper” where the name reflect that for which a person was known? I wonder what he ate?

  • Who? Pineapple?

    Ya know, it’s one thing if you want to drink and drive and kill yourself. It’s another entirely to jeopardize the lives of others, especially a beautiful child. Bailed out at 4 a.m. Beware drivers. Prayers for the innocent family.

  • charles engebretson

    In el Salvador it’s a firing squad for driving drunk

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