Thursday, October 15, 2020

Head-On Collision Near Orick

Posted By on Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 10:58 AM

click to enlarge chp.jpg
California Highway Patrol responded to a head-on collision north of Orick near Bald Hills Road, where one of the drivers is suspected of driving under the influence.

According to the report, a 2001 Jeep Cherokee that was driven by 35-year-old Jamie Vaughn of Eureka was traveling northbound on US-101 when it crossed into the southbound lane and collided with a 2013 Hyundai Genesis, which was driven by 60-year-old Duane Claunch of San Jose along with his passenger Mary Claunch.

The CHP report states that it's investigating impairment as a contributing factor in this collision as Vaughn was arrested for suspected felony DUI charges related to the collision.

All three people, including a dog in Vaughn's vehicle, suffered major injuries and were sent to hospitals to be treated. 

The collision is still under investigation, anyone with information is asked to contact CHP at  822-5981 or send an email to

Read the full CHP release below.

On 10/13/2020, at approximately 1017 AM, the Humboldt Area CHP received a report of a head on collision on US-101 north of Bald Hills Road. Upon CHP arrival it was determined that a 2013 Hyundai Genesis, being driven by 60 year old Duane Claunch of San Jose, was traveling southbound on US-101 north of Bald Hills Rd. A 2001 Jeep Cherokee, being driven by 35 year old Jamie Vaughn of Eureka, was traveling northbound on US-101 when it traveled into the southbound lane and collided with the Hyundai. Mr. Claunch and his passenger, 59 year old Mary Claunch, suffered major injuries as a result of the collision. Ms. Vaughn also suffered major injuries. Emergency medical personnel responded to the scene and provided medical aid to the injured parties. Mrs. Claunch and Ms. Vaughn were transported via air ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka. Mr. Claunch was transported by air ambulance to Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata. Humboldt County Animal Control also responded to the scene and assisted with an injured dog from Ms. Vaughn's vehicle. Impairment is being investigated as a contributing factor in this collision and Ms. Vaughn was placed under arrest for felony DUI charges related to the collision. She was subsequently released to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The CHP Humboldt Area Office is continuing to investigate this collision and asks anyone who may have information to contact the office at 707-822-5981 or send an email to

In order to maintain a safe scene, provide medical aid to injured parties, and safely investigate the collision, it often takes multiple people and agencies working together. The California Highway Patrol would like to thank the following for their assistance in this investigation:

Orick Volunteer Fire Department, Redwood National and State Parks, Cal-Fire, Arcata Mad-River Ambulance, Klamath Volunteer Fire Department, McCullough Construction (Assisted with Traffic Control), Cal-Trans, Humboldt County Animal Control.
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Iridian Casarez

Iridian Casarez is a staff writer at the North Coast Journal.

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