Emergency

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

UPDATED: Motorcyclist Killed in Eureka Crash

Posted By on Wed, May 2, 2018 at 7:24 PM

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The California Highway Patrol misidentified the Eureka man who died in a motorcycle crash earlier today.

The man killed was 33-year-old Dustin Finson, of Eureka. According to a press release, the confusion stemmed from the fact that identification found with Finson at the scene of the crash had been stolen. The Humboldt County Coroner's Office notified CHP at about 8:25 p.m. of Finson's true identity.

PREVIOUSLY:
A motorcyclist was killed this afternoon in a crash on Broadway in Eureka near Highland Avenue.

The California Highway Patrol reports that a Toyota Solara turned south onto Broadway from Highland Avenue, into the path of 39-year-old Charles Roybal III, 33-year-old Dustin Finson, of Eureka, who was heading north on his 2002 Yamaha motorcycle. Roybal Finson laid down his bike in attempt to avoid a collision, according to the CHP, but slid into the Toyota. Roybal Finson sustained major injuries and was later pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the Solara and her four passengers — including three minors — were uninjured.

The crash remains under investigation by CHP and it's currently unknown whether drugs or alcohol were a factor.

Roybal's Finson's death is the county's 11th of 2018.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Fatal Crash on State Route 36 Claims One

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2018 at 10:48 AM

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A single-vehicle collision on State Route 36 ended in the death of Chelsea Renee Cash, 22, who was driving a 1999 Dodge Intrepid sedan eastbound at around 7:25 p.m. when her vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree. Cash was from Quincy and, according to her Facebook page, was employed at the Swain's Flat Outpost Garden. The press release states that Cash was driving at a high rate of speed when she veered onto the gravel shoulder, overcorrected into the westbound lane and then off the roadway. Cash, the only person in the vehicle, died at the scene and was pronounced dead by medical personnel at 8:20 p.m. The reason for the collision is unknown.

The incident marks Humboldt County's 10th vehicle-related fatality of 2018.


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2nd UPDATE: Man Found Dead on U.S. Highway 101 Died of Gunshot Wounds

Posted By on Tue, May 1, 2018 at 10:01 AM

Humboldt County Sheriff's Office - FILE
  • FILE
  • Humboldt County Sheriff's Office
2nd UPDATE:

Humboldt County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Samantha Karges confirmed this morning that Salvatore Riccobono IV died from "multiple gunshot wounds."

Karges could not say how Riccobono's body ended up on U.S. Highway 101 near Salmon Creek, where it was struck by a driver in the early hours of April 23. She also could not release any information about where Riccobono, originally from Concord, was working, although his LinkedIn page said he was the owner of NorCal Extracts, a Sacramento-based dispensary.

"We believe he was living in Humboldt County at the time of his death," Karges said.

Riccobono's vehicle, a 1998 Gold Infinity SUV, was recovered in Eureka on Sunday April 27 thanks to a citizen tip. Karges could not say if his gun had been found. No suspects have been identified.

"We were really thankful to get that citizen’s tip to find the vehicle," said Karges. "We are grateful for any help the public can offer. The crime tip hotline can be anonymous."

The Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip Line: 268-2539.

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Monday, April 30, 2018

Mountain Lion Sightings, Pet Attacks Prompt Warning in Rio Dell

Posted By on Mon, Apr 30, 2018 at 11:05 AM

Rio Dell officials caution residents to keep pets and children inside due to unusual cougar activity. - CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Rio Dell officials caution residents to keep pets and children inside due to unusual cougar activity.
Rio Dell officials are warning residents to keep their children and pets indoors following a series of mountain lion sightings near ravines frequented by children along the river bar and in neighborhoods along Riverside and Eeloa avenues on the east side of U.S. Highway 101.

The city warns that the sightings have taken place during the day and there have been to two reports of dogs being attacked, one of which died as a result. According to the release, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has been notified.


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Friday, April 27, 2018

2nd UPDATE: Suspect Surrenders in Fatal Hit and Run

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 2:33 PM

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2nd UPDATE:
At about 6:30 p.m. today, 33-year-old Benjamin Shermis, of Arcata, came into the California Highway Patrol's Arcata office and admitted he was the river in last night's fatal hit-and-run collision on U.S. Highway 101, according to the CHP.

The CHP reports that Shermis was subsequently arrested for felony hit and run and booked into the county jail. His vehicle — a 2001 Ford van — was located where he told investigators it would be, according to the CHP.

UPDATE:
The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has identified the victim of last night’s hit-and-run collision near McKinleyville as 34-year-old Richard Brandon Freeman, of Hoopa.

Freeman was found shortly before 9 p.m. lying in the center divide of U.S. Highway 101 near the North Bank Road off-ramp and was pronounced dead at the scene. The California Highway Patrol has also announced that it is now searching for a Ford Econoline Van from between 1992 and 2000, or a vehicle with “similar van cab and chassis.” The suspect vehicle is believed be white in color with damage to its driver-side headlight and turn signal.

CHP asks anyone with information about the case, including Freeman’s activities leading up to the collision, to call its Humboldt office at 822-5981 or 268-2000.

See the full press release copied below our original post.

PREVIOUSLY:
The California Highway Patrol is investigating a hit-and-run crash that left a pedestrian dead in the median on U.S. Highway 101 near North Bank Road last night.

CHP reports it was dispatched to a call of a pedestrian lying in the center divide of U.S. Highway 101 just north of Arcata shortly before 9 p.m. yesterday. Officers arrived to find an unresponsive male and immediately began CPR, but the pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene after medical personnel arrived.

According to CHP, it appears the pedestrian was in the northbound roadway when struck by an unknown vehicle, which fled the scene. Officials are still working to identify the pedestrian and notify his family of his death. Northbound traffic was diverted onto Central Avenue while investigators worked the scene.

The incident marks Humboldt County's ninth vehicle-related fatality of 2018.

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UPDATE: One-Way Controlled Traffic on 101 at Klamath Bridge

Posted By on Fri, Apr 27, 2018 at 12:07 PM

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UPDATE: Caltrans reports that U.S. Highway 101 is now open to one-way controlled traffic.

PREVIOUS: A fiery crash between a sedan and a semi-truck has shut down U.S. Highway 101 in both directions at the Klamath Bridge, with at least one person being airlifted from the scene, according to the CHP incident report.

The driver of the semi, which began exploding after the crash, was reported to have gotten out, but the driver of a Nissan Maxima had to be extricated from the car with a medivac crew called in, although the extent of the person’s injuries is unclear.

The incident report states that there some 100 gallons of diesel fuel spilled in the crash and a boat is checking on the bridge.

There is no time estimate for when the highway will reopen.

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

8 Year Old Found Dead After Being Swept Out to Sea

Posted By on Sun, Apr 22, 2018 at 12:59 PM

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The U.S. Coast Guard has recovered the body of an 8-year-old girl who was swept out to sea near Big Lagoon yesterday afternoon.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports that the girl was swept into the ocean while jumping into waves on the ocean side of the lagoon at about 3:15 p.m. yesterday. Sheriff’s deputies joined personnel from CalFire, the Bureau of Land Management, the Orick Fire Department, state parks and the U.S. Coast Guard in the search.

The girl was found at about 4 p.m., about 1 mile south of where she’d entered the water. She was flown to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The case remains under investigation.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

UPDATE: Mother of Slain HSU Student Files Claim Against Arcata, Council Responds

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 4:48 PM

Josiah Lawson's mother, Charmaine, and grandmother listen to a speaker at the 2017 memorial service. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • Josiah Lawson's mother, Charmaine, and grandmother listen to a speaker at the 2017 memorial service.
The civil rights attorney for the mother of slain Humboldt State University student David Josiah Lawson has filed a claim seeking at least $500,000 from the city of Arcata, alleging Charmaine Lawson suffered injuries including emotional distress and anxiety due to a "negligent" police investigation into her son’s death.

The 13-page document, the precursor to a civil lawsuit, outlines several instances in which former Arcata Police Chief Tom Chapman, who abruptly resigned his position April 10, allegedly lied to Charmaine Lawson about the investigation, including the assistance his department was receiving from other Humboldt County law enforcement agencies.


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UPDATE: Two Killed in Horrific 101 Crash ID'd

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 11:35 AM

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The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has identified the two women killed in a horrific crash on U.S. 101 in Southern Humboldt on Friday.

The driver, Emely Selina Carreno-Arenas, who was 20, and her passenger, Michelle Segundo, 19, both of Eureka, were pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the CHP, they were in a 2007 Honda Civic headed southbound at 11:44 a.m. April 13 when Carreno-Arenas lost control of the car for unknown reasons and crossed into the path of a van being driven northbound. Both were wearing seatbelts.


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Retired FBI Agent: Lawson's Murder Can and Should Be Solved

Posted By and on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 at 9:04 AM

Tom Parker pictured at the Santa Barbara Courthouse. - PAUL WELLMAN/SANTA BARBARA INDEPENDENT
  • Paul Wellman/Santa Barbara Independent
  • Tom Parker pictured at the Santa Barbara Courthouse.
Tom Parker, a retired FBI agent who recently stepped down from assisting the Arcata Police Department’s investigation into David Josiah Lawson’s murder, says he’s convinced the case could be solved in just a few months, if not weeks, if he were able to bring the right people on board.

“We’d have this thing finished up,” he says, during a far-reaching KHSU interview the North Coast Journal was invited to join and which is airing today with host Lorna Bryant. “That’s not patting ourselves on the back. That’s the reality of this case.”

Joined by attorney Shelley Mack, who represents Josiah’s mother Charmaine Lawson pro-bono, both Mack and Parker expressed frustration with the lack of progress and by what they see as initial missteps by both APD and the District Attorney’s Office that have left the case unsolved.

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