Monday, November 4, 2019

UPDATE: One Injured in 101 Crash Involving 2 Trucks, 2 Cars North of Willits

Posted By on Mon, Nov 4, 2019 at 9:01 AM

A multi-vehicle crash that snarled traffic on the U.S. Highway 101 south of Willits for hours Monday left one person with a possible broken wrist but otherwise spared those involved.

According to the CHP, the pileup began when a Fortuna resident driving southbound in a Nissan sedan stopped due to a “traffic hazard,” causing an Arcata man in a truck-tractor behind him to partially enter the northbound lane to avoid a collision.

Meanwhile, a Willits resident traveling northbound in a van with two passengers was navigating around the semi when a southbound logging truck came around a corner at what the California Highway Patrol described as “an unsafe speed for the traffic conditions.”

Unable to stop in time, the logging truck hit the semi — pushing it into the Nissan — and hit the van before it “traversed a steep embankment east of US-101 and came to a rest within the dense overgrowth” on the east side of the highway, according to a CHP release.

The crash remains under investigation. (See the full CHP release at the end of the post.)


Just before 11 a.m., the roadway was opened to one-way, controlled traffic, according to the CHP incident page.


A crash involving two semi trucks and a van is completely blocking U.S. Highway 101 north of Willits, according to a spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol speaking this morning by phone. The three way collision occurred about 8:15 a.m.
click to enlarge chp.jpg

“At the soonest [reopening the road] would be hour,” explained the off icer about 8:45 a.m. making an educated guess on how long it would take to allow traffic to resume through the area.

An ambulance is responding to the scene but the injuries are not believed to be serious.

Read the CHP release below:
On November 4, 2019, at approximately 0815 hours, Richard Bailey was driving a 2014 Nissan sedan southbound on US-101, in the southbound lane, in the vicinity of mile post marker 50.18 (approximately two and a half miles north Willits).

Mr. Bailey stopped the Nissan in the southbound lane due to a traffic hazard ahead. John Bullwinkel was driving a 2008 Peterbilt truck-tractor combination southbound on US-101, directly behind the Nissan.

Mr. Bullwinkel slowed the 2008 Peterbilt, turned to the left, partially entered the northbound lane, and came to a stop. Robert McAdams Jr. was driving a 1999 Chrysler van, transporting two passengers, northbound on US-101, in the northbound lane, south of the Nissan and 2008 Peterbilt. The Chrysler began driving around the 2008 Peterbilt. Justin Coggins was driving a 2019 Peterbilt log truck southbound US-101, in the southbound lane, approaching the other parties, while rounding a curve.

Due to Mr. Coggins driving the 2019 Peterbilt at an unsafe speed for the traffic conditions, he was unable to stop the Peterbilt and turned to the left, to avoid a
collision with the rear of the 2008 Peterbilt's trailer.

Mr. Coggins entered the northbound lane and collided with the left front of the 2008 Peterbilt's trailer. This collision caused the 2008 Peterbilt to collide with the Nissan. Mr. McAdam's observed the 2019 Peterbilt approaching and turned the Chyrsler to the right in an attempt to avoid a collision, but the 2019 Peterbilt's left side collided with the left side of the Chrysler.

After the collision, the 2019 Peterbilt traversed a steep embankment east of US-101 and came to a rest within the dense overgrowth east of US-101.

A passenger in the Chrysler was transported to a local hospital for treatment of injuries. Caltrans established intermittent traffic closures for both lanes of US-101 while the offloading and recovery is completed. The estimated time for full clean-up is 1500 hours.

Neither alcohol nor drugs are not suspected as a factor in this collision. This collision is under investigation by the CHP Garberville Area.
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Kym Kemp

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