Emergency

Friday, June 23, 2017

Sheriff's Office IDs Inmate Who Died in Custody

Posted By on Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 3:11 PM

Humboldt County Sheriff's Office - FILE
  • FILE
  • Humboldt County Sheriff's Office
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has identified the woman who died in custody at around 3 a.m. this morning as Colleen Marie Branch, 36, of Eureka. Branch was in the jail's medical unit to detox off an undisclosed substance, according to Lt. Mike Fridley. She was discovered by a staff member at around 2:45 a.m. and appeared to not be breathing. She was transported to the hospital and declared dead at 3:20 a.m. Booking records indicate that Branch was booked into the jail Wednesday evening for parole violations. The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team is currently conducting an investigation.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

UPDATE: CHP ID's Redding Man Killed in Suspected DUI Crash

Posted By on Sat, Jun 17, 2017 at 2:36 PM

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UPDATE:

The deceased man has been identified as Jarrod Waddle.

Previously:

A 35-year-old Redding man was killed early this morning when he lost control of his SUV and hit a tree off South G Street.

The man, whose name is being withheld until officials can notify his family of his death, is suspected of having been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the 3:35 a.m. crash.

According to CHP, he was driving a 2014 Dodge Journey south on U.S. Highway 101 when he exited at South G Street at an “undetermined speed” and failed to negotiate a curve at the end of the off ramp. The SUV left the roadway in a straight line, according to CHP, and collided with a tree.

The driver was unresponsive when CHP and paramedics arrived on scene and was pronounced dead at Mad River Hospital a short time later. His passenger suffered minor injuries.

This is the 16th roadway death in Humboldt County so far this year.
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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fatal Collision on SR 36 is 15th of 2017

Posted By on Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 9:14 AM

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The death of Wende Dolores Carroll, a 58-year-old Bridgeville resident, marks the county's 15th traffic fatality of the year. Carroll was driving westbound on State Route 36 at 10:58 a.m. yesterday when her pickup crossed into the eastbound lane and she overcorrected, leaving the road and colliding with a redwood tree. The California Highway Patrol said alcohol was not a factor in the collision.

To date in 2017, 15 people have died from traffic fatalities in Humboldt County, including six pedestrians struck by vehicles.


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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Redway Man Killed in ATV Accident

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 5:12 PM

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A Redway man was found dead this morning from injuries he suffered in an ATV accident on an unmarked trail south of Briceland Road.

A group of concerned residents located the body of David J. Dresser, 59, trapped under the vehicle after searching in the area where he was last known to be, according to a California Highway Patrol press release.

It’s unclear how long Dresser had been missing. His death remains under investigation by CHP and it’s unknown if drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

Read the full CHP release below:
At an unknown time, between the Saturday May 27, 2017 and the morning of Wednesday May 31, 2017, David J. Dresser of Redway, CA was driving a 2005 Yamaha ATV east on an unmarked Jeep trail approximately one quarter mile west of Barley Road and south of Briceland Road. For reasons still under investigation, the ATV overturned and Dresser was ejected. The ATV came to rest on its right side and Dresser was trapped underneath the ATV. Dresser was located, deceased, on the morning of Wednesday May 31 at approximately 7:30 am by local concerned citizens who were actively searching the area where he was last known to be.

Agencies who assisted with the investigation include: Southern Humboldt Tech Rescue, Briceland Volunteer Fire Department, Humboldt County Sheriff Department and the California Highway Patrol.

This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. At this time, it is unknown if drugs or alcohol were a factor in this collision.

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Fiery Crash Involving Local Family Kills Two, Several Injured

Posted By on Fri, May 26, 2017 at 11:01 AM

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Two people were killed, including a Eureka man, and several other members of a local family were injured in a fiery collision just after midnight on U.S. Highway 101 north of Willits. But a Good Samaritan pulled five injured passengers from the wreckage just before both vehicles burst into flames.

Three Eureka residents — identified as 43-year-old Rosa Delgado, 24-year-old Gilberto Delgado and 19-year-old Anajelica Delgado — suffered major injuries. Two children, a 1-year-old Eureka girl and a 7-year-old boy from Fortuna, received minor injuries in the head-on crash that killed both drivers, who were trapped inside as the vehicles became engulfed in flames.

A motorist who came upon the crash scene was able to get all of the passengers out of the 2008 Dodge Ram pickup that was hit when the driver of a 1994 Ford Bronco crossed over into its path, according to a California Highway Patrol release.

Neither driver has been identified. The CHP is investigating the fatal incident and reports that impaired driving may have been a factor in the crash.

Read the full release from the CHP below:
On 05-26-17, at approximately 12:30 A.M., a 1994 Ford Bronco was driving north on US-101, north of Reynolds Highway in Mendocino County. For unknown reasons, the Ford made a turning movement to the left and crossed over the double yellow lines, proceeding into the southbound traffic lane. At the same time, a 2008 Dodge Ram pickup was driving south on US-101, north of Reynolds Highway in Mendocino County. The Ford crossed into the opposing traffic lane right in front of the Dodge and the two vehicles collided head on. Both vehicles came to rest within the southbound and northbound traffic lanes and caught fire. The Dodge had five passengers inside, not including the driver. The drivers became trapped within the driver seats of their respective vehicles as a result of the collision.

Immediately after the collision, a Good Samaritan came upon the scene and got out of his vehicle in order to see if everyone was okay. He quickly realized that the fire was spreading and began to extricate everyone that he could from the Dodge. Due to his quick thinking and expediency, all five passengers from the Dodge were safely rescued from the vehicle. Unfortunately, the driver (identity being withheld pending family notification) was trapped in the driver seat as the Dodge became fully engulfed and suffered fatal injuries. The driver of the Ford (identity being withheld pending family notification) was also trapped and was not extricated before his vehicle became engulfed as well, and he suffered fatal injuries.

All injured parties were transported by ambulances from Ukiah, Willits and Laytonville to area hospitals. Personnel from Little Lake Fire Department, Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, Willits Police Department, Verihealth, Laytonville Fire Department and Ukiah CHP assisted with the control of, and the investigation of, the collision scene. This collision remains under investigation by the Garberville CHP.

At this time, the cause of this collision is under investigation and it appears impaired driving may have been a factor as well. 
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the number of passengers.
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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

CDCR: Pelican Bay Inmates Shot After Attacking Staff; Several Injured

Posted By on Wed, May 24, 2017 at 4:08 PM

One of Pelican Bay's 11 perimeter guard towers. - FILE
  • File
  • One of Pelican Bay's 11 perimeter guard towers.
Pelican Bay State Prison officers opened fire on a group of inmates who allegedly attacked staff members trying to break up a fistfight this morning, sending five to the hospital with gunshot wounds, according to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation press release.

Eight staff members were also hurt and two remained hospitalized, the CDCR reports.Their injuries were described as “significant but not life-threatening” and the release states “they are expected to be released soon.”

A Deadly Force Investigations Team from the corrections department has been sent to the prison to conduct a criminal and administrative investigation into the use of deadly force. The Office of the Inspector General was notified and the CDCR states investigators from the Office of Correctional Safety are also being sent to the Crescent City prison known for housing some of the state’s most notorious prisoners.

Several Pelican Bay prisoners helped trigger a 2013 prison hunger strike that brought national attention to solitary confinement practices in the state.

Read the full release from the CDCR below:
CRESCENT CITY ― Pelican Bay State Prison (PBSP) officials are investigating an incident that sent eight officers to the hospital with injuries.

At 10:25 a.m. today, custody staff responded to a fistfight between two inmates on the B Facility maximum-security general population yard. Responding staff used chemical agents and batons to subdue the inmates; however, they refused to stop fighting.

As staff continued to try to subdue the two inmates, large groups of inmates from various areas of the yard ran toward the incident. The officers were overwhelmed as the inmates started attacking them. Officers from three armed posts used lethal force to stop the attacks firing a total of 19 .223 rounds from the mini-14 rifle and three 40-millimeter direct impact rounds.

Two inmate-made weapons were recovered; however, it does not appear at this time they were used in the attack.

Eight staff members were taken to an outside hospital with injuries. Six were treated and released and two are still hospitalized. Their injuries are significant but not life-threatening and they are expected to be released soon.

Seven inmates were also taken to outside hospitals, five of them for treatment of gunshot wounds.
PBSP officials have limited inmate movement throughout the entire institution to facilitate their investigation and they rehoused 97 inmates in the Administrative Segregation Unit.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sent a Deadly Force Investigations Team to the prison to conduct the criminal and administrative investigation into the use of deadly force. CDCR is also sending investigators from its Office of Correctional Safety. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

The Peer Support Program was activated. The program ensures CDCR employees involved in work-related critical incidents are provided with intervention and resources to cope with the traumatic effects.
PBSP, located in Del Norte County, is comprised of two maximum-security facilities, two security housing unit facilities, a minimum-support facility and a short-term restricted housing unit. The prison provides treatment for mentally ill inmates and provides work, academic, career technical education, self-help and other rehabilitative programs. PBSP also has a firehouse with eight fulltime inmate firefighters. PBSP opened in 1989, currently houses approximately 2,000 inmates and employs approximately 1,300 people.


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Monday, May 22, 2017

No Foul Play Suspected in Death of Massachusetts Man

Posted By on Mon, May 22, 2017 at 12:18 PM

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The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said no foul play is suspect in the death of a 44-year-old Massachusetts man found on the bank of the South Fork of the Eel River over the weekend.

According to a press release, Eric Christian Mineau, whose body was located near the base of a Garberville cliff, sustained injuries that were consistent with a fall. An autopsy has been scheduled.

Read the full release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office below:
On Saturday, May 20, 2017 at about 1548 hours, The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a deceased male on the river bank of the South Fork of the Eel River. The body was located at the base of a cliff between the Sprowel Creek Bridge and the Bear Canyon Bridge in Garberville. No foul play is suspected at this time. The victim’s injuries are consistent with a fall and an autopsy has been scheduled.
The deceased subject has been positively identified as Eric Christian Mineau, age 44, of Pittsfield, MA.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.


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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Eureka Woman, 31, Dies in Jail

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 2:08 PM

The Humboldt County Jail. - FILE
  • File
  • The Humboldt County Jail.
A 31-year-old Eureka woman died in custody at the Humboldt County jail Monday night after she was found not breathing in her cell during a security check.

Erica Ekker was housed alone in the maximum security female unit when she was discovered, according to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff''s Office. Medical staff performed medical aid until emergency responders arrived but Ekker was pronounced dead 15 minutes later.

Sheriff's office public information officer Stacy Hanson said Ekker had been in custody since May 3 after being arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats. The multi-agency Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team is investigating Ekker's death.

Read the full sheriff's office release below:
On Monday, May 15, 2017 at about 2115 hours a Correctional Deputy in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility was conducting a security check of the maximum security female unit when she discovered an inmate, who was housed alone, in their cell that appeared to be not breathing. Facility medical staff and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) were immediately requested. Facility medical staff arrived on scene and along with Correctional staff began life saving measures. EMS arrived on scene and continued life saving measures but those measures were unsuccessful and the inmate was pronounced dead at 2130 hours by EMS on scene. The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division responded to the scene and took possession of the deceased. Notification of next of kin was completed by the Coroner’s Office. The inmate was identified as 31 year old Erica Ekker of Eureka. The Humboldt County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) responded to the Correctional Facility and are currently conducting an investigation.

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Monday, May 15, 2017

Pilot of Airplane that Crashed in Eel River Identified

Posted By on Mon, May 15, 2017 at 4:16 PM

Rex Whitlow, with his wife, Tracy. - PHOTO BY HEIDI WALTERS
  • Photo by Heidi Walters
  • Rex Whitlow, with his wife, Tracy.
The remains of an ultra-light aircraft pilot that went down May 4 into the main fork of the Eel River have been recovered and identified as those of 61-year-old Rex Whitlow.

According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, Whitlow's body was located at about 2 p.m. yesterday by family friends who were searching the area. For more, see the full press release below and see a past Journal story about McCann, which counted Whitlow as a lifelong resident, here.


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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

THIRD UPDATE: Pedestrian Killed in 101 Hit and Run ID

Posted By on Tue, May 9, 2017 at 2:55 PM

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THIRD UPDATE: The Humboldt County Coroner's Office has identified the pedestrian killed May 5 on U.S. Highway 101 north of the airport as McKinleyville resident Ralph Pak Summers. He was 49.

CHP Officer Cy May said the case is active and the agency is "following up on some pretty good investigative leads."

He says investigators believe they have identified the driver and owner of a second vehicle suspected of being involved in the fatal collision and expects more information to become available in the coming days.


SECOND UPDATE: Humboldt CHP is still looking for a possible second vehicle related to this morning’s fatal traffic collision. Based on several vehicle parts/debris left at the scene it has been determined that we are looking for a 1997-2003 Ford F-150 dark in color. If anyone has any information please contact the Humboldt Area CHP Office at (707)822-5981 during business hours or the Humboldt Communications Center at (707)268-2000 for after business hours.


UPDATE: Humboldt CHP has recovered one of the vehicles involved, a 1995 Ford Escort, and has arrested David J. Lara of Trinidad on felony hit and run charges. Lara was taken into custody and was booked into the Humboldt County Jail early this morning. The CHP has "reason to believe a second vehicle was involved in this collision and is still outstanding." They are still looking for a dark blue full sized pickup with undercarriage damage.

Previously:

The California Highway Patrol responded to news of a dead body this morning on U.S. Highway 101 between McKinleyville Airport and Clam Beach. Little information is available at this time but it appears that a male pedestrian was struck by a vehicle traveling in the northbound lane. The CHP and Humboldt County Sheriff's Office responded to the scene, closing the highway at 1:19 a.m. and reopening it at 2:27 a.m. The CHP is currently looking for a "dark blue full sized pickup truck with damage to the undercarriage and wheel wells." According to the CHP, "there may have been multiple occupants in the suspect vehicle."

This is the 14th traffic fatality of 2017, and the fifth that involved a pedestrian being struck by a vehicle.


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