Thursday, February 28, 2019

UPDATE: EPD Recommends Manslaughter Charge in Fatal Hit and Run

Posted By on Thu, Feb 28, 2019 at 2:53 PM

click to enlarge The Humboldt County Coroner's Office at the scene. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • The Humboldt County Coroner's Office at the scene.

Eureka Police Det. Ricahrd Bise tells the Journal that the report he forwarded to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office in the case recommends charges of vehicular manslaughter and hit and run.

Bise, the lead investigator in the Dec. 13 hit and run crash that killed 29-year-old Michael Kenneth Pohl, declined to discuss how EPD was able to link a suspect to the fatal crash, saying he wanted to “leave that out until the DA reviews the case.”

The Eureka Police Department says it has identified the driver involved in a December hit and run crash that left a 29-year-old man dead on the greenbelt along the side of U.S. Highway 101 just north of V Street.

But EPD has not yet made an arrest in the case, according to a press release, and has instead submitted its investigation to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for review. The department isn’t releasing any further details at this time.

Michael Kenneth Pohl, a transient who had been living in the area, was found dead Dec. 14 near the creek that drains into Eureka Slough in a greenbelt along the east side of U.S. Highway 101 North. It appeared at the time that whatever vehicle hit Pohl had traveled at least 10 yards off the freeway, down an embankment and onto the bank of the creek before returning to the freeway.

The day Pohl’s body was found, police said they believed the crash may have happened the prior evening — around 7 p.m. — and involved a dark-colored SUV that most likely would have been left with front-end damage to its passenger side.

Read the EPD releases below:

Update to Suspicious Death

The Eureka Police Department has identified the driver involved in the December 2018 hit and run collision that killed 29 year old Michael Kenneth Pohl. An arrest has not been made. The case is being sent to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for criminal complaint.

Additional information will be released as appropriate.

Original Release

On 12-14-2018 at approximately 8:10 am, officers of the Eureka Police Department responded to the area of 5th and V Streets for the report of a suspicious circumstance.

Upon officer’s arrival, they located an adult male in the foliage, just south of Highway 101. The male was determined to be deceased.

Based on the initial findings, the incident is being investigated as a possible hit and run traffic collision. There are no suspect(s) or involved vehicle information at this time.

This is an ongoing investigation and updates will be released when they become available. The identity of the deceased is being withheld until the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has made the required notifications.

The Eureka Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance and urges anyone with information regarding this incident to call Detective Richard Bise at (707) 441-4109.

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Thadeus Greenson

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

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