According to the California Highway Patrol, Ford was driving south at about 6:30 a.m. when, for unknown reasons, he lost control of his 1989 Chevrolet and crashed through the center divide and its guardrails, coming to rest in the northbound lanes of Highway 101. Ford escaped major injury in the crash, and was standing near his car, according to CHP, when a northbound 2000 Toyota driven by Cyrstal Marie Sanders, of Fortuna, crashed into him and his car, resulting in major injuries.
Ford was transported to Mad River Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Sanders received minor injuries in the crash, the cause of which remains under investigation.
The crash caused the closure of parts of the freeway for about four hours Saturday, as investigators processed the scene.
See the full press releases from CHP and the coroner’s office below.
Subject: Deceased Person Identified Case: 201501288
On March 21, 2015 at about 6:39 AM there was a traffic accident on US Highway 101, south of Samoa Boulevard. One person suffered injuries during the accident and was later declared deceased at Mad River Hospital.
The deceased subject has been identified as Mitchell Eldon Ford, age 30, of Eureka. The lead agency in this investigation in the California Highway Patrol. All further information will be released through their agency.
ARCATA, Calif. - On March 21, 2015, at 6:39 a.m., a solo male driver, age 30, of Eureka was driving a 1989 Chevrolet southbound on US-101, south of Samoa Boulevard, when he lost control and collided with the center divider. The Chevrolet traveled over the double center divider guardrails and came to rest in the #1 northbound lane. After the Chevrolet came to rest, the male driver exited the driver seat and was standing in close proximity to the Chevrolet.
At 6:40 a.m., 30 year old Crystal Marie Sanders of Fortuna was driving a 2000 Toyota northbound on US-101 in the #1 lane, and struck the Chevrolet / male driver. This second collision resulted in major injuries to the male driver and minor injuries to Ms. Sanders. The male driver, whose name is being withheld pending family notification, was transported by ambulance to Mad River Community Hospital where he was subsequently pronounced deceased. The causes of both collisions remain under investigation.
The California Highway Patrol - Humboldt Area responded to the scene and is conducting the investigation. Personnel from the Arcata Police Department, the Arcata Fire Protection District, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Department, Arcata-Mad River Ambulance, and the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) also responded to the scene.
As a result of this collision, various lane closures were in effect on both sides of US-101 for approximately 4 hours.
The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has identified the man killed in a car crash on Highway 101 in Arcata on Saturday as 30-year-old Mitchell Eldon Ford, of Eureka.