Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Eureka Woman Released after Thursday's Manslaughter Arrest, Victim Identified

Posted By on Wed, Jun 22, 2016 at 11:52 AM

A 21-year-old Eureka woman arrested last week on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter has been released from jail after no charges were filed against her in the case.

The California Highway Patrol arrested Adryan Nicole Pollock shortly after after 6 p.m. on June 16, after she’d allegedly lost control of the 2008 Dodge pickup she was driving on State Route 299. The vehicle rolled over, ejecting a hitchhiker passenger — Hugh Grant Jr. 78, of Klamath — who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. Grant suffered fatal injuries while Pollock and four other passengers — her husband, a friend and her two young children — were uninjured. (The initial CHP press release spelled Pollock’s first name Adrian.)

DUI is not believed to have been a factor in the crash, according to CHP.

Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming said her office hasn’t filed charges against Pollock in the case because it still hasn’t received any reports from CHP, prompting the jail to release Pollock under California Penal Code 825, which prohibits jails from holding arrestees for more than 48 hours unless charges are filed against them.

CHP Sgt. Jeff Borgen said the investigation into the crash remains ongoing and will likely take some time. “Because someone died here, we make sure we have a more thorough investigation,” he said.

Borgen further explained that the officer on scene that night made the decision to arrest Pollock at the scene rather than releasing her pending the investigation because she didn’t have “satisfactory identification” with her at at the time of the accident. The arrest, Borgen explained, was made in an abundance of caution and to verify her identity.

“The arresting officer decided to arrest Ms. Pollcok on the night of the collision because of the information we had at the time,” Borgen said, reading a statement prepared for the Journal. “We must determine so far as possible the identities of the people involved and how their actions caused this fatal collision. We owe it to the person killed, their family and this community to conduct a thorough investigation. Please keep in mind that someone died, this is a vehicular manslaughter case, and the investigation is ongoing. We work work closely with the district attorney’s office and we are committed to bringing anyone who is criminally responsible to justice.

“We would like to take this unfortunate opportunity to remind you that seatbelt use is the most effective way to reduce motor vehicle fatalities.”

Borgen didn’t specify a time frame for completing the investigation, but said it will likely take some time, noting there were no independent witnesses to the collision.

Read the Journal’s initial coverage of the crash here.
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Thadeus Greenson

Thadeus Greenson is the news editor of the North Coast Journal.

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