[UPDATE 8 p.m.] Death on 101 Near Salmon Creek Suspicious
This morning a semi truck struck the body of a man on Hwy 101 near Salmon Creek around mile marker 24 about 5 a.m. When questioned on whether the man had been deceased prior to being struck by the semi, Humboldt County’s Chief Deputy Coroner Lt. Ernie Stewart wouldn’t answer at this time. However, he did state, “We treat all suspicious deaths as homicides until proven otherwise.” Stewart said that he couldn’t say more about the death until a forensic autopsy was performed. At this point, he isn’t able to say when the autopsy will be scheduled.
The northbound lanes of Hwy 101 were closed for almost eight hours as Humboldt County Sheriff deputies and California Highway Patrol officers investigated the scene which is a much longer than normal time for an accidental death.
UPDATE 8 p.m.: The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department gave some more information in the following press release:
On April 23, 2018 at 0500 hours, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call about a vehicle vs. pedestrian collision on NB101 near Salmon Creek. The call was transferred to the California Highway Patrol. California Highway Patrol Officers and Sheriff’s Deputies responded. It was determined the pedestrian was deceased and the California Highway Patrol requested a response from the Coroner.
The Deputy Sheriff/Coroner arrived on scene and began his investigation. Based on the Deputy Sheriff/Coroner’s observations, he requested a response from the Criminal Investigations Division. Detectives and an evidence technician responded. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating this as a suspicious death. A forensic autopsy is scheduled for Saturday, April 28th. No further information regarding this incident will be released until after the autopsy is completed.
The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin. Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip Line at (707) 268-2539.