The Humboldt County Coroner's Office identified the victim in the Feb. 25 crash. Dillon Boots, 27, of Arcata, died of blunt force trauma as a result of the accident. The office is running a toxicology report as part of its investigation into the crash.
A pair of early morning crashes on U.S. Highway 101 near Phillipsville left one person dead and two injured.
A 1995 BMW was speeding southbound on the highway at more than 100 miles per hour, witnesses said, when it lost control, hit an embankment and flipped over, according to a CHP press release. Investigators believe the driver was not wearing a seatbelt and was killed in the crash. The person's name, age and city of residence have not yet been released.
Shortly afterward, a second car crashed into the overturned BMW. The driver and passenger of the second car were hospitalized with moderate injuries, and are not suspected of being under the influence. The cause of the first crash is being investigated.
As the Journal has reported
, Humboldt County has one of the highest vehicle fatality rates in the country, parlty exaggerated, police say, by a cultural refusal to wear seatbelts.
"We see less seatbelt compliance in rural areas than we do in the city," CHP spokesman Matthew Harvey told the Journal
last year. "It's hard to know why that is, but people don't feel like they need to put their seatbelts on."
It appears to be the third vehicular death of 2016, following a year that saw 28 people die on Humboldt County roads.
From the CHP:
On Thursday morning, February 25, 2016, at approximately 2:50 AM, a 1995 BMW occupied by a single occupant, whose name is not being released at this time, was traveling southbound on US-101, south of Phillipsville, in the number one lane at a high rate of speed. The BMW briefly drifted over the center dividing section before over-correcting to the right, sending the BMW into an ascending embankment to the west of US-101. Upon impact with the embankment, the BMW overturned and slid on its roof approximately 200 feet before coming to rest in the southbound number 2 lane of US-101. Witness statements showed the BMW’s speed to be over 100 miles per hour seconds prior to the collision. The driver of the BMW is believed not to have been restrained and was partially ejected from the vehicle when it overturned.
Shortly after the collision, a second southbound vehicle, a 2015 Nissan sedan, driven by 50 year old Dorsey Lane from Carlotta collided head on with the overturned BMW. A third vehicle which was stopped and unoccupied was struck as a result of the second collision.
The driver of the BMW sustained fatal injuries, believed to have been caused from the first rollover collision. The driver and passenger of the Nissan both sustained moderate injuries and were transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna.
Assisting agencies at the scene were Cal Fire, Redway Volunteer Fire, Phillipsville Volunteer Fire, Miranda Volunteer Fire, City Ambulance, and Caltrans.
This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the cause of the BMW colliding with the embankment and overturning. However, alcohol or drugs were not a factor in the cause of the second collision, the Nissan versus the BMW.