UPDATE: 8/11/21 — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has identified the child killed Saturday morning as 14-year-old Selena Clark-Quintero from Potter Valley. The staff at Mendocino Voice offer our condolences to the decedent’s family and the Potter Valley community.
MENDOCINO Co., 8/9/21 — An underage driver hit a tree early Saturday morning while fleeing from police at high speed. A 14-year-old passenger who not wearing her seatbelt was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, 15, and a 13-year-old passenger were transported to two different hospitals with major injuries. An update on their medical conditions was not immediately available Monday afternoon.
Investigators with the California Highway Patrol say the Ukiah Police Department (UPD) tried to stop a 2017 Volkswagen Bug within city limits around 1:30 a.m., but the driver fled on S. State Street and then southbound U.S. Highway 101 at speeds in excess of 100 mph, at which time pursuing officers say they lost sight of the vehicle. The suspects did not escape, however.
CHP officers say the driver exited Highway 101 at Rivino Ranch Road, blew through the intersection at high speed and went airborne, exiting the roadway before hitting a tree in the vicinity of Burke Hill Drive and overturning. Investigators say it’s not yet clear whether drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash.
The names of the children involved are being withheld due to their status as minors, and the name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, but UPD posted a news release to Facebook where over 100 comments had accumulated by Monday afternoon.
“I’m so sorry for the families and their loss,” Second District Supervisor Maureen Mulheren said in a comment. “Before you judge consider there is more to the story and be kind especially when families may be reading this.”
Comments indicate at least one of the vehicle occupants may have attended school in Potter Valley. Potter Valley Community Unified School District Superintendent Nicole Odell confirmed Monday afternoon via email that the district is working with the Mendocino County Office of Education to provide counseling services to students, family and school staff over the coming weeks.
If you are having a mental health crisis you can call the NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE to talk to a skilled counselor at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For veterans press 1, en español oprima el 2.
For local assistance you can call 800.555.5906 to access Mendocino County mental health services. If you are having a mental health crisis you can call Mendocino County mental health crisis line 24-7 at 855.838.0404. You can also see them at any of the three hospitals in county, or at their offices in Ukiah and Fort Bragg Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Mendocino County offers a free and confidential “Warm Line” for non-crisis support. The Warm Line is available Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. by calling 1-707-472-2311 or Toll Free at 1-833-995-2510 or you can find more resources on their website.
Redwood Community Services offers a 24/7 crisis hotline for anyone in Mendocino County experiencing a mental health emergency. Call: 1-855-838-0404 or check out more resources through their website.