Suspect Sought in Fatal Hit and Run

Scene of an accident.

Law enforcement and fire crews help at the scene of today’s fatal crash near Laytonville. [Photo provided by a reader]

Press release from the California Highway Patrol:

On 08-13-2017, at approximately 12:28 P.M., a 1965 Ford Falcon was traveling southbound on US-101, north of Steel Lane at an unknown speed.  A 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac was traveling northbound on US-101, north of Steel Lane, approaching the Ford Falcon.  For reasons still under investigation, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac crossed over the solid double yellow lines, directly in the path of the  Ford Falcon.  The front of the Ford Falcon collided with the right side of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac.  As a result of the collision, the passenger of the Ford Falcon succumbed to her injuries at the scene.  The driver of the Ford Falcon sustained major injuries and was transported to Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits, then flown via air ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.  The driver of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac fled the scene on foot prior to CHP arrival.

The driver of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac is described as a hispanic male in his 30’s, stocky build, 215 lbs, 5’10” tall,  with short black hair, brown eyes, wearing a dark colored t-shirt and camouflage shorts.  He was last seen walking northbound along US-101 immediately after the collision.  Anyone with any information as to the driver’s identity or whereabouts is encouraged to call the CHP at (707) 268-2000 (24 hours a day-CHP dispatch ) or (707) 923-2155 (CHP Garberville office-business hours).

Personnel from Laytonville Fire Department, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Transportation and Cal Fire assisted at the collision scene.  This collision remains under investigation by the Garberville CHP.chp traffic report

tow truck driver with burned pickup

A tow truck driver prepares to haul off the suspect’s vehicle. [Photo provided by a reader]

Two vehicles being towed that were involved in a crash.

The Ford Falcon is on the left and the Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup is on the right. [Photo by Skylar Mentink]

UPDATE Monday: CHP Searching for Driver of Tan 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac

Earlier Chapter: Fiery Accident on Hwy 101 Near Laytonville; One Person Possibly Deceased

  • Laytonville Rock


  • I just don’t know what to say I wonder if ice will be called

    • How do you know he was illegal?

      • We won’t know unless ICE checks his legal status. Although, my guess would be that he IS illegal.

        • J. Worthingham Fatback

          if he isn’t illegal, then he’s a stupid fool. Add fifteen years for leaving the scene of a fatal wreck-not a smart move.

      • Why run if your not illegal. Illegal or not he’s a pathetic coward and is being watched for by locals

        • Lost Croat Outburst

          Leaving the scene of a serious accident is called “hit and run.” Perps of all persuasions and ethnicities have done this for a very long time to avoid prosecution for their crimes, legal resident or not. I think you know this very well, but you have your Trump thinking cap on.

    • Victor G. Flashman

      At least one person is dead. Another is in hospital with major injuries.

      Why don’t we all stop whining about status, pray for the victims, and hope we get through our day without this happening to us or someone we care about?

      Drive safely, be alert, slow down today! This could be you!

    • I did not know only illegals people killed others on the highway. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • Wish we could get the guy that ran over my partner’s foot by the laundromat in Redway in the fall of 2013 and destroyed her foot and damaged her knees – for a second he stopped to talk, but then he panicked and absconded. unfortunately no one thought to get his license number. Ifb you know who this was, please call law enforcement directly…..if you’re the guy that dud it, how about manning up and at least kicking your victim a few thousand bucks?

  • That’s what happens when DMV gives illegals a drivers license. They drive without insurance and vote in US elections. He won’t hobble off too far.

    • There is zero evidence offered so far that this man was illegal.

      • Plenty of reasons to support it. Ca DMV IS giving out DL’s to illegals like candy. Fact. Fled the scene. Fact. Hispanic. Fact. Even if he’s not illegal the DL was, or suspended, or some such.

        Being PC is not a virtue when we’re talking vehicular homicide.

        • Why assume that the man is illegal? He may be, but, so far, there is zero evidence of that. Legal residents also are guilty of hit and run. Let’s assume that the man was Anglo Saxon and walked away. What reasons would he have for fleeing the scene? DUI? Stolen Vehicle? Former traffic issues? Those are just a few possibilities.

          • Assumption just the same so who are you kym to say ..maybe he’s a hard working white male with a deep tan ..and not Hispanic .. nowhere does it say he was speaking spanish.,your whole comment section is assumptions even your comment…”those are just a few possibilities..”. get my drift

            • Descriptions of what was seen may be incorrect but are based on information from an eye witness. The assumption that someone is illegal because they are Hispanic is not only racist but has no basis in fact. That’s a huge difference….

              • Bull. It’s a mathematical possibility, here in Cali. because of the fact we share an unprotected border (up until this current potus) and the presence of “sanctuary cities”. It is an educated guess.

                • Well, you do the math…

                  There are an estimated 15 million Hispanics in California as of 2014 (the latest accurate information.)

                  California has an estimated 2 million undocumented immigrants (many of which are not Hispanic.)

                  So while it is a possibility that the man is undocumented, the mathematical probability is that he isn’t. On top of that…who cares? The problem is that he walked away from a fatal traffic accident. There are non-Hispanic, documented residents who do that. Whether he is here illegally has about as much bearing on what he did as whether he was raised a Christian or not.

            • Lost Croat Outburst

              Are you nuts, “wade harris is shit”? Kym is saying don’t jump to conclusions. She agrees with your sentiment.

          • I want to know who the truck belonged to… who’s is the registered owner. The man was most likely in shock and not thinking straight to have left the scene for any reason. He may come forward when he realizes the gravity of the situation. Or the hills will shake him out. Either way he needs to be held accountable. Who cares what ethnicity he is. Haven’t we had enough of that lately… we are all mankind.

        • Irony: I know 2 illegal immigrants in the area that a racist like you wouldn’t figure. Can we build a wall on the Canadian border, already?

        • Provide links to back you up cuz guess what youre wrong. The dmv is way strict.
          Trump admin reversed decision on work visas cuz without them none of our crops would be picked. With a work visa i imagine you can get a license for work purposes.

          By the way, in case you didnt notice, about vehicular manslaughter, we have a larger problem of domestic terrorism all done by legal citizens who were trained in our military, virginia included.

        • Well if he were white and housed and licensed, would the lady in the falcon be in better shape??. If he’s illegal, the problem is still the wreck, and perhaps the driver’s alcoholism, but not the fact he had a driver’s license. Kym. If she was saying this happened because the driver was black would you let the comments stand? This is pretty blatant racism. And I wish it didn’t stand. This is Humboldt, his legal status doesn’t make him more or less human. Doesn’t change what happened to a lady out having a ride in a cool car. This is effed up, but not because of his national status. This commentor bringing it up is as effed up as the accident.

          • Comment of the???? Month at least.

          • Sometimes I think deleting comments is the answer but mostly, I know that you can’t pretend away racism, you have to confront it. I’d sure appreciate some help though.

            • Lost Croat Outburst

              Look, I’m trying Kym, but with little apparent effect. Look who’s in the White House because of a lousy 70,000 votes across three States. Those votes were weighted more heavily than yours and mine. Thank you Electoral College. Sorry to say Kymster, but your kids may be the last generation to remember the Old America, when it really was great. Flawed, but great. The One Best Hope for humanity, working toward a nation where your character and abilities were what counted. A nation represented by every race from the far corners of the planet.

              Look at the national news. Look what the shallow, banal, egomaniacal lout known as President Donald John Trump is doing to us, to the world. Look how proud the Trumpistas still are! Aren’t they still proud in G’ville? Isn’t Ernie B. still proud and happy? Yeah, they’re strutting and Putin gets extra dividends every day. So proud.

        • I agree I love just above where this happened he may have wandered into the woods you know. If I see him I’m gonna hog tie him [edit] Let him reflect on his mistake. Wait for the officers to pick him up. Let that be his punishment for not being a man

        • So Stormy the Super Slueth
          That’s awesome that you’ve got this case all sewn up without a single corroborated fact. Are you promoting your new book called Rush to Judgement? Or an auto biography called The Rantings of a Small minded, Scared, Insecure White Person. Here’s a fact for you S the SS, human beings are not Illegal. They are people. The economy is roaring along, unemployment is low, wages are up and because your sorry ass can’t find a job it’s someone else’s fault?

          • [edit] How is it okay for someone to make a statement like you did about “whites” and it’s all fine?!?! THATS not racism?!?! [edit]
            Also, a woman lost her life here! Stop turning these things into race and politics and have some respect for these people!

      • Please remember to follow up with the “facts” once recieved, even if they don’t support your agenda.

        • I will though I don’t have an agenda other than that I’m interested in facts.

          Note: If you start off assuming that the suspect is illegally in the country with no evidence to back that, then you might ignore someone who is not illegal but is actually the suspect.

    • GEZZ, Sounds like you know who it was

    • When they do catch him he’ll receive free Heath coverage.

    • DMV doesn’t issue illegals drivers license, nor can they vote. It’s a shame that people automatically assume he was illegally here. But, on the flip side, it’s too bad he fled and has no integrity

      • California Assembly Bill 60 ( AB-60) is a bill passed into law that, in effect, allows illegal immigrants to the United States to apply for a California driver’s license with the CA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

        Non-residents can’t vote, however.

        • If you are not an attorney I’d be surprised. Kudos for standing your ground. Just because he was Mexican doesn’t mean he was illegal. There’s many reasons he could have run. My prayers to the family for their loss.

        • Kym
          If your going to quote law checks your facts and new laws.
          Only California residents may apply for a California Driver License with proof of residency. Voting is another thing, no proof of residency is required.

  • Someone was close enough to see that he had brown eyes but didn’t bother to try and detain him?

    • Right, so you can get a knife through your heart or a bullet between your eyes? Best to observe from a safe distance and give your report to law enforcement.

      • Just because he’s Hispanic you think your going to get a “knife through your heart or a bullet between the eys?” Judge much? Lol.

        • I would assume they assume someone who just killed somebody might kill again to stay free, regardless of nationality. Smart.

        • Well, he obviously IS a criminal, not because he is Hispanic, but because he killed someone and fled. What kind of person does that?

          • Excellent comment. Seems that some on this site may have just returned from Charlottesville.

          • Victor G. Flashman

            Maybe a person who just survived a serious and fatal accident? Do you think he might have been in shock, or that he might have serious injuries himself? Maybe he needs assistance, and maybe he is lying dead under a tree somewhere?

            Show some sense, some compassion. This kind of thing happens too often on the North Coast, and you could be next!

      • X 51 ? Thats not a common round.

    • First logical comment ive read yet…thanks!!

    • If I were the one to observe the color of his eyes, I am hoping you would forgive me for not trying to detain him. My walker only goes a maximum speed of 0.01 MPH – and that is down hill.

  • What an asshole! Hope that he gets what’s coming to him. Sorry for the victims and their family.

  • Let’s keep letting the illegals come in that’s a bunch of b******* maybe people wake up and see what’s really happening

    • It creeps me out that people are freaking out about ‘illegals’ because the person looked Hispanic. Horrifying time of open and virulent racism in this nation that I love. Thanks, Trump, for harnessing it and riding it to power. What a great guy. My history is iffy, but I’m pretty sure most of California’s major cities have Hispanic names because they were here before northern European types.

  • I am absolutely upset with this rhetoric about “illegals”. With all that is happening in our nation this is not the time to continue this “othering” of human beings. My heart hurts for our community.

    • Its quite possible that the distress our great nation is in can be credited to the huge problem of ” illegals”…

      • Shiela, it’s quite possible that the distress our great nation is in is because of people who blame everything on “illegals” instead of looking at how the 1% has ripped off a majority of the people in this country with their policies.

        • The 1% consists of the politicians who take our money to pave the road for all to follow their pursuit of happiness, but then pull the rug out from underneath them and create hate games to distract from the main tyrants.
          There is not one single woe out here that can’t be fixed. All that is needed is to stop blaming each other so we can then unite our finger pointing where it belongs. It is our duty to hold the elected accountable. How do we do that? We stop making excuses for them and we keep petitioning them to straighten up. When is the last time any of us made phone calls that didn’t require begging for more government intrusion? Stop playing the game of the more they do, the more we need them to do. Holding selves accountable first, is the only way our country will ever improve.
          We need to be on the same page. From driving on the correct side of the road to working anywhere for anyone we choose that will hire.
          Who is responsible for securing our rights? Get on the phone and demand they do their job. Hold self and your elected accountable.
          It’s impossible to fight for your rights if you don’t know what they are.

      • You mean like you and your ancestors????
        Youre the illegal ones who destroyed this land.

        America was built on immigrants backs. In the early 1900s ed sheeran would have been taunted and looked down upon for the way he looks,the irish had their time of being looked on as trash.

        Hey if you dont like immigrants, lets find a nice area in the middle of the country for you all to go and hate, you can put walls up all around you and not have to worry about anyone coming in.
        For now you have your churches to spew hate from in the name of your god. Lets kick all the christians out!!!!!!
        Hows it feel?

    • While i understand where you are coming from and respect it. The fact remains if you werent born here or javent taken the time to do the paperwork to come here, and you are here you shouldnt is pretty simple , everyone wants a better life school you name it, but we are broke, spend the time and engery to change where you are from instead of trying to change where i live

  • I concur with you, Mamaof5. Right on! Whatever happened to civility — and respect?

  • Tragic, it looked bad but I guessed the SUV guy got killed just looking at the carnage. The falcon looked smashed up on the flat bed I was wondering who all the characters were at the scene. I drove by and I’ll tell you the northbound traffic was getting let through a whole lot quicker than us driving south. Of course I was behind a trio of gappers who didn’t bother to move up so the flag man figured hey, this is a good place to kick the cones back into the lane. Sad tho. Hope they catch the guy and charge him extra since he was illegally fleeing an accident

  • So sad for those who lost a family or loved one.

    • my brother was kill in a hit and run the guy was 21 years old Speeding no driver License or insurance hit my brother so hard that went up 80 feet in the air and landed 50 teet away he keep going park the car went home a hour Latter when to the police Station to Report the car Stolen. He made a deal with the city attorney got 10 years . He’s 21 will get out went he’s 31 with he’s whole life. No justice to make maters worse he’s grand parent knew my brother and was trying to help him get away didn’t know the person he kill was my brother they came to the funeral it was hard to see them there but it was my brother funeral it was to see him not to fight.

  • Maybe, just maybe, the person the truck is registered to is the same person that was driving the truck.
    I know it is a long shot.

  • He is still a scumbag for leaving the scene. Even if he is legal he should be sent back for not obeying our laws.

    • So if you break the law, where should you be sent to?

      I have Hispanic cousins whose ancestors came to what is now the United States before there was a US. Where should they go if they break the law?

  • I have a son who looks hispanic his dads side came from Spain same age descibe little shorter use to drive said vehicle my point is don’t point the finger until when and if he surfaces as far as legal, race& the reason he ran fear could be the sole motive.
    Tragic loss of a person prayers lifted for the family and the mystery to be resolved swiftly for the sake of peace in the process of grief

  • Wow I didn’t know there were so many ignorant people in a community I have come to love. Seems like there is a lot more hatred here than I allow myself to see.

  • Condolences to the victims from Concord, my hometown. What a tragic ending to a beautiful Sunday.

  • It sucks when an innocent person dies, and the one at fault literally walks away!

  • Illegal or not he should be in jail

    I heard it was the same Mexican that was caught with that 13 year old girl by those two park rangers back in February. I don’t know how he isn’t in jail. I’ve seen him all over town free to rape and molest other children.

  • Hope they left something in the truck that gives them a name or address !

  • The reason is not illegal. is driving with not consistent drunk driving speeding or running from a crime

  • Racism has been here as long as I’ve been alive,and it’s not going away. And for the love of God Donald Trump didn’t start this it was here before he was president give it a rest!!! I’m sorry the family’s have to read this crap. God Bless all,please drive safe,watch out for other drivers

    • Donald Trump thinks he IS GOD!!!! He encourages racism with his attitudes & deeds as well!!!

    • Trump didn’t ‘start this’, but his campaign rhetoric and ongoing divisive speech and actions have not only stirred the pot, but turned up the flame beneath. Rather than ‘give it a rest’, this is the time to speak up for common decency and civilized behavior.

      • Divide and conquer…while we’re at each other’s throat, the 0.01% makes off with the all the loot, laughing their ass off at the stupid plebs~

  • I once worked at an rv camp for a short time. The managers once instructed me to keep an ” eye on those mexicans ” that were camping. One family was middle eastern indian, the others were samoan. Most racist pricks cant even tell one race from another. The only purpose the description serves is just that, a visual description. Abd just a valid point, theres plenty of dead beat trashy natural born american citizens that cause car wrecks, flee crime scenes and eat up free services from the taxpayers. The sad part? Most of them had a much better chance at a succesful life than id bet any illegal ” mexicans” ever did.

  • I was 5 cars behind the accident, initially I did not see the driver of the Exploder or see him leave. The next day I came back to town, and prior to reading this post I noticed a Hispanic male (non Local) in Boomers, trying to use the ATM to no evail walking toward the accident scene he fit the description had a blanket covering his right side (heard he may be injured) however in the bar not asking any locals for anything, then later walking down the Hwy, I am willing to bet he is an illegal or has no license from DUI, anyone else who was decent would have stayed at the scene because maybe it was an accident, I looked closely to the skid marks, looked to me as he was on the phone or texting and turned blindly in to on coming traffic, a tragic Sunday drive for some nice folks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *