[UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: Mother of Injured Child Gives Update] Fatal Accident on 101 Near Bell Springs Road Yesterday
One witness, who wishes to be anonymous, said she was driving north on 101. She says she saw a “young couple parked alongside of the road.” According to the witness, the couple “were frantically trying to wave people by.” She said she could hear them screaming, “We have no cell reception.”
She pulled over. The couple told her that there was a man, probably deceased in the vehicle and an injured child. Though she had no medical training, she had worked in a school and she felt she might be able to comfort the child. “I am good with kids,” she said simply.
When she got down to the accident, she said she saw a man laying back in his seat with his eyes wide open but unmoving and a child with long hair that she originally thought was a girl but has since come to believe was a boy.
The witness was there for quite some time while she waited for medical personnel, she said. During the whole time, the man did not move. “There was not a touch of blood on him,” she explained. “He was leaned back and not breathing.”
The child who was wearing her seatbelt appeared to be unconscious, the witness said. “[He] was clearly breathing,” the witness explained. “[He] was trapped in there. [The man’s] seat was pushed up against [the child’s] legs. I saw that [his] right arm was twisted badly.”
The witness described seeing that the child was bleeding but couldn’t see from where. She said she was afraid to move the badly injured child. “I just stood there and kept rubbing [his] forehead. I was scared [he] was going to wake up and see [his] dad and see he was injured badly.”
She started looking for something to cover the dead man’s face but couldn’t see anything usable. “I took my t-shirt off and draped it in a way that [the child] couldn’t wake up and see that,” she explained.
“It was horrible,” she said. “I’m haunted by it.”
Eventually, the witness said, another nurse came down to help. “Before the ambulance got there, a young woman came down the hill,” the witness said. “She went to the child and said, “It is okay, sweetheart. We’re going to take care of you.’ She was clearly competent.”
The witness said she left. “I couldn’t do anything but get in the way.” She stayed on the road “until all the first responders were there.” Then after informing an officer, she left.
Traffic along Hwy 101 was delayed for several hours.
We reached out to the California Highway Patrol for more information but as it is a weekend, we don’t expect to get answers until Monday.
UPDATE 5:33 p.m.: We were contacted by the mother of the boy. They are Humboldt County residents. The boy has had multiple surgeries and will need more. However, he is expected to recover.