Southern Humboldt Man Deceased After Yesterday’s Accident on Briceland Road

Press release from the Garberville CHP Office:

CHP Feature Fatality

On July 23, 2018, at approximately 1750 hours, a 2012 Kawasaki motorcycle, driven by 38 year old, Brian J. Hemphill, was traveling eastbound on Briceland Road, east of Ettersburg Junction. For reasons still under investigation, Hemphill failed to maintain control of the Kawasaki and drifted off the east roadway edge of Briceland Road, where it collided with a tree. Hemphill was found to be wearing a helmet, however, was pronounced deceased at the scene by City Ambulance of Eureka personnel.

This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Garberville Area office. It is not known at this time if drugs or alcohol impairment is a factor in this collision.

The following agencies responded to the scene and assisted with this incident; Telegraph CreekRidge Fire, [Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue,] Cal-Fire, Briceland Fire, City Ambulance of Eureka and the California Highway Patrol.



  • Sorry to all friends and family for your loss of this friend and son. kym kemp, chp made an error in this press release. There is no telegraph creek fire dept on the west side only telegraph ridge in the ettersburg area. thanks for all your great reporting

  • Telegraph Ridge Fire

    That’s actually Telegraph Ridge Volunteer Fire Company. Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue was also there. It was their team and equipment that helped recover his body.
    Thanks to everyone who responded.

  • r.i.p. man you will be missed

  • Rest In Power Country

  • Rest easy Country, You’ll be missed

  • unbridled philistine

    I liked Brian! Damn it. Street bikes so dangerous. Sad. Will be missed.

    • Street bikes…are not any more dangerous than any other. Many factors…skill of rider, speed, traffic all contribute.

      • That’s a stupid and completely false statement . I’d imagine a Vespa would be safer than a Ducati… you know .. mainly because of the difference of horsepower under your legs

        • Except, like all small cc bikes, they don’t have they power to get out of their own way. I know, I rode a 198cc daily from Eur to McVille full throttle just to do 67mph. I agree with Lefty. I’ve seen idiots on Harleys, Ninjas, dirt bikes, and, yes, Vespas. All can wheelie, except, maybe, a Rokon.

  • Huckleberry Finn

    RIP Country!

  • Huckleberry Finn

    R.i.P Country!!!

  • Where is ettersburg junction? Near thorn junction.

  • Little League Pedro

    R.I.P. Country you were a great standup guy. I’ll be doing two breakfast shots at the rail today one for you one for me🥃🍻

  • So long, Country. We’re lucky to have known you.

  • We will mourn the loss of our dear friend Country for as long as we live. RIP Country. See you again someday. 💙

  • Four levels of motorcycle proficiency:

    1. Unconscious incompetence (clueless)
    2. Conscious incompetence (aware of your shortcomings)
    3. Conscious competence (aware of the dynamics)
    4. Unconscious competence (second nature)

    Choose your ride accordingly, your life depends on it. R.I.P. brother

    • No level of motorcycle proficiency makes riding street anywhere near safe. You can’t manage the risk like you pretend you can. Andrew Trevitt is another sad example, among countless others. He wrote some great articles for sport rider on defensive riding only to be run down and paralyzed by a left turner. I quit riding street after I too was almost killed. Injured for life.By the grace of God I’m here to tell you it’s not worth it.

  • It would have made Country so happy to be known as “Southern Humboldt Man! He really loved it here, and touched so many hearts in so little time! See you around the next bend, dear, true friend!

    • You’re right, Babette. He would be so honored to be called a So Hum Man. He loved this place so much. He said it’s the first time he’s ever felt a sense of community and he loved being a part of it. He was truly truly happy in his last days.

  • There will be a memorial for Country this Sunday at Brass Rail Bar. His favorite local band, Savannah Rose, will be performing in his honor. All are welcome. His Brass Rail family is so saddened by his passing.

  • Sad, seems like a well liked guy. My grandfather who lived in Briceland his whole life always warned us about the trees. He said they jump out at people, and to not take them for granted.

  • “I see angels on Ariels comin’ down to carry [him] home.” RIP – ride in peace

  • Thank you for the kind words and love for Brian. Our family in ND is devestated by this news. We are having a memorial for him on Sunday as well.

  • Mr. & Mrs. Hemphil: I had the pleasure of meeting your son when he first came to our town and began volunteering at the Mateel Community Center where I worked. As Igot to know him, I came to love him like a son. Your son lifted so many people around here! He had a HUGE heart, a dry sense of humor, and a lot of no nonsense when it came to work. He had integrity, common sense and diplomacy. He treated everyone equally – the homeless to the wealthy. He had strong opinions and stood up for what and whom he believed in. He’s respected and loved by many and leaves a great big empty for us. Most of all he had a lot of love in his heart and wasn’t afraid to share it! You done good! 💓

  • Dani, thank you, and I am so very sorry for your loss! Lots of prayers for strength and support coming your way!

  • Trishia Charboneau

    Hemphill, man, you are so missed!!! North Dakota cries for you! I’m glad to see you spread your good will and love around in Cali as well as your original homies back here in ND. We are also having a celebration of Brian’s life in Bismarck, ND at the Desert. Text me or contact me if you need the info of how to get there! September 23rd!!!

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