[UPDATE 6:39 p.m.] Last Night, Law Enforcement Was in Brooktrails Confiscating a Vehicle Which Appeared to be Connected to Friday Morning’s Fatal Hit and Run

Tow truck with suspect vehicle

An All-in-One Tow Truck on the 24000 Block of Lilac Road towing what appears to be the vehicle associated with Friday morning’s Hit and Run [The photograph is a cropped version of one provided by Theo Vincent Corcoran]

Last night at approximately 7:45., California Highway Patrol officers and Mendocino County Sheriff deputies were seen near the 24000 block of Lilac Road in Brooktrails towing a silver sedan that witnesses say matched the description of a silver 2018-2020 Hyundai Accent sought for its involvement with a fatal hit and run that occurred early Friday morning.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Captain Greg Van Patten confirmed that deputies were in Brooktrails “assisting CHP with their investigation into that fatal hit and run case.”

41-year-old Fort Bragg man Paul Brown passed away as a result of the hit-and-run. Speaking to his sister Carrie Callan on Friday morning, she described her brother’s passing as “horrible and shocking.”

As per a press release from CHP Garberville office, the hit and run occurred around 1:20 a.m. after a 2018-2020 silver Hyundai Accent crossed over a double yellow line striking Brown who was walking on the shoulder.

Brooktrails resident Theo Vincent Corcoran told us he was driving and stumbled upon the 24000 block of Lilac Road where he photographed a silver sedan loaded up on an All-in-One tow truck with numerous MCSO and CHP vehicles parked on the road.

Another Brooktrails resident told us they saw a tow truck and vehicle being escorted down Sherwood Road towards Willits by law enforcement. They noticed the front end of the vehicle was damaged, specifically the passenger side front headlight and corner of the bumper.*

This last resident’s sighting matches the description of the damage CHP provided in Friday morning’s press release: “The silver, 2018-2020 Hyundai Accent sustained left front damage as a result of this traffic collision. The damage includes the left headlight assembly and the front bumper.”

We have contacted the CHP Garberville office for information regarding their officers’ presence on Lilac Road, but as of publication have yet to receive an answer.

As of Friday morning’s press release, CHP Garberville requests if “anyone has any information which could lead to the location of the silver, 2018-2020 Hyundai Accent or to the identity of the driver please contact the CHP Garberville area at (707) 923-2155 or at the Humboldt Communications Center at (707) 268-2000.”

*Please note: The CHP description indicated that the damage would likely be on the “left” side which would normally be the driver’s side.

UPDATE 6:39 p.m.: The Garberville CHP posted on Facebook,

With the public’s assistance, the CHP Garberville Area has located the silver 2019 Hyundai Accent involved in yesterday’s early morning vehicle versus pedestrian fatal hit-and-run traffic collision.
If anyone was a witness to this traffic collision or has surveillance footage, please contact the CHP Garberville Area at (707)923-2155 or at the Humboldt Communications Center at (707)268-2000.

UPDATE Monday: California Highway Patrol Identifies the Driver Involved with Friday Morning’s Fatal Hit and Run in Brooktrails




  • Good job willits, this is what the ALPRs should be used for.

    Condolences to the family.

  • I never understood the original vehicle description, wrestling with how if a car crossed the double yellow line into the oncoming lane and struck someone on the shoulder how the damage was on the passenger side of the vehicle. This makes more sense. RIP

  • Was the vehicle abandoned in this neighborhood…parked in someone’s driveway…? What about the registered owner…? Somebody local? Seems that would be the first person to question… Or do they have to “process” the vehicle first to confirm it is the suspected vehicle, giving the owner time to leave town and come up with an alibi?

  • Mendocino Mamma

    Well Frito you can call it a cheeto if ya like. Facts is facts though. 99% whoever is making the payments/ paying insurance on it was driving or knows who the driver is.

    • Uhm ya…they have this little computer thingy in the patrol cars that’s connected to the DMV among other things. Run the plate…Run the VIN… For God’s sake, it’s not rocket science! Go knock on the registered owners door, arrest and take em in for questioning. Seems pretty straight forward. It’s been over 24hrs, they haven’t come forward, do you think this person is sitting at home waiting for the cops to knock at the door? Oldest trick on the books, leave town play dumb and claim your car must have been stolen…how would You know the car was gone? (People actually think that will work.)

  • I don’t know anything about the Brooktrails area but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume it’s not someplace you can abandon a car then call an Uber or hop on the bus at 1:20am to get the hell out of there. If the person simply parked in their driveway or in front of their house after driving home drunk or tired and dozed off at the wheel, possibly might not have seen or known what they hit. So unless it’s common for people to be walking down that road at 1:20am, assumed it was a deer. People hit deer all the time, don’t go back to check on them. I don’t know, I’d just like to believe this was not malicious or intentional to leave this poor guy dying on the side of the road. (Like someone did to my brother in law…) My condolences to the family and friends of this young man. May you find strength to heal your broken hearts. And to the person driving I hope you make atonement for what you have done!

  • Would the man have survived if the man who struck him with the car had stopped and called paramedics and first responders? Time to open the Brooktrails to Willits Fire Trail for pedestrian traffic. It is a n old Rail Corridor… perhaps rails to trails money could help to pay for acquisition? Wouldnt it be nice to access all those Brooktrails trails by bicycle and walking alomg the car free corridor that was used for over 125 years?

  • Mendocino Mamma

    Build a decent shoulder and this shit wouldnt be happening. Put a 3 ft shoulder on both sides at least to the fire dept and one to the store. That would be a protective benefit for the community. The Paul Brown memorial trail.

    • Have you ever walked the old rail corridor that went all the way to Sherwood Valley AKA “The Fire Trail” it goes from Northbrook Way to the Par Course in Brooktrails. It meanders along a beautiful scenic creek and is also a historic trail. There are easements as well as the ability for the State, County or City and Township to acquire this historic trail. The trail is absolutely amazing in the spring time with wildflowers covering the open meadows. It was always open untill about 15-20 years ago. It was the normal walking path between Willits and Brooktrails untill some transients vandalized some rocks with graffiti. There is much talk in the Willits and Brooktrails community about getting this trail opened back up. There could be millions of dollars available for acquisition and trail
      improvement considering this is a known fire escape route and the State Transportation Dollars for bicycle and pedestrian paths. Call our local leaders in Willits Brooktrails and County Supervisors and tell them you support acquisition and trail improvement. Let this avoidable death lead to a solution to the very rude closure of our communities link to one another.

  • Damn, its a Sad Deal. Hope they figure out Who did this to You Paul. Rest in Peace Buddy

  • So sorry for the family and sorry that town is full of complete psychos. Even athe cops are crazy. I was nearly killed by a hit and run driver in Willits. She tried to leave the scene, ranme over again, and was about to hit me a thrid time when my bf stopped her. Willits police came to the scene and let her go without so much as a breathalyzer. Still not able to walk correctly and that was 3 years ago. Terrible place full of crazies.

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