UPDATE, 3/12/19 — The name of the deceased has been released:
UPDATE 4:10 p.m. — Tow trucks are on the scene, and the CHP believes that the highway will be opening completely soon. As of this time traffic is still one-way traffic control. The CHP has also clarified that the sedan carried three people, and the truck one. One person in the sedan was killed while the other two suffered major injuries.
UPDATE 1:31 p.m. — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has sent out an alert stating that the 101 is closed. However, the Garberville office of the CHP maintains that there is one-way traffic control in the number 2 northbound lane, though it may have been temporarily fully closed to allow for helicopters to land, or as tow trucks arrive to haul out the vehicles. Either way expect major delays. The place where the accident occurred is an area where there is very little cellphone reception, so specific details are sparse.
MENDOCINO Co., 3/11/19 — A major car accident on U.S. Route 101, between Willits and Laytonville, has closed the highway and cost one person their life. Two or three additional people were injured, including a 3 year old child who sustained sever injuries and was airlifted out. As of 1:10 p.m. all injured had been extricated from the vehicle, and it appears that two air ambulances had been called in, picked up the patients and departed.
As of 1:15 p.m. the California Highway Patrol is reporting there is one-way traffic control moving through the northbound number 2 lane, though the southbound lane will remain closed from some time to clean up the accident. It is unclear when the road will be fully re-opened, though tow trucks are on the way.
Our friends at MendocinoSportsPlus have a screenshot of the California Highway Patrol incident page, and some additional reporting. The Humboldt office of the CHP tends to pull the real-time online report when there is a fatality, so continual updates from that page are not avaliable.
The accident appears to have been big rig vs. a black sedan, with the big rig strewn across the lanes. The CHP has said the accident was head on. At least one of the patients is being airlifted to the UC Davis trauma center in Davis, rather than Ukiah or Santa Rosa as is more common.
We will continue to update.