UPDATE 10:15 p.m. — The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has released additional information about the head-on vehicle collision, although the names of the people involved have not been made public pending notification of next of kin.
According to the report, the collision occurred just after 11 a.m., when a 29 year-old man from Covelo, driving a 2000 Acura Integra, was heading northward on Highway 101, and subsequently crossed the double yellow line resulting in a head-on collision with a 29 year-old female from Olivehurst, driving a 2009 Dodge Ram. The truck then hit a guardrail and overturned, resting on it’s roof.
According to the report, “Due to the intrusion into the Acura, the driver suffered fatal injuries and was declared deceased at 1108 hours by medical personnel, requiring extrication from the Acura.” The driver of the Dodge suffered major injuries, and the passengers suffered minor injuries, and all were transported to treated at Adventist Health Howard Memorial. The passengers of the Dodge included three minors that CHP reports were nine, seven, and four years of age.
Any witness are requested to contact CHP’s Ukiah Area Office at (707) 467-4420.
Here’s the details from the CHP incident report:
On 09/12/2021, at approximately 1104 hours, Ukiah CHP was dispatched to the scene of a reported head-on collision on US-101, north of the Ridgewood Scale Facility. Upon arrival, it was determined to be a fatal collision.
A 29 year old male (name withheld), was driving a 2000 Acura Integra, within the number one lane of US-101 northbound at approximately 70 mph. A 29 year old female (name withheld), was driving a 2009 Dodge Ram, within the number one lane of US-101 southbound at approximately 70 mph. For unknown reasons, the male driver allowed the Acura to cross over the double yellow lines dividing the north and southbound lanes, directly towards the Dodge. Subsequently, the left front of the Acura impacted the left front of the Dodge causing the Dodge to impact a guardrail and overturn. The Acura came to rest on its wheels within the number two lane of US-101 southbound. The Dodge came to l’est on its roof within the number two lane of US-101 southbound, south of the Acura. The driver and passengers of the Dodge were assisted out of the vehicle by medical personnel. The driver of the Dodge sustained major injuries and was transported to Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital. The passengers of the Dodge suffered minor injuries and were transported to Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital. Due to the intrusion into the Acura, the driver suffered fatal injuries and was declared deceased at 1108 hours by medical personnel, requiring extrication from the Acura. The cause of this collision is still under investigation. Alcohol and/or drugs are not deterinined to be factor at this time,
The identities of all involved parties are being withheld pending notification of next of kin,
Any person with information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact the California Highway Patrol’s Ukiah Area Office at (707) 467-4420.CHP incident report from 9/12/21.
UPDATE 2:25 p.m. — The road is now open.
UPDATE 12:45 p.m. — One-way traffic is now open according to WPD, although there are still delays in the area, please drive slowly any use caution.
UPDATE 12:26: A hard closure is still in place to allow emergency responders to access the scene, and southbound traffic is being redirected to Baechtel Road, according to updates provided by the Willits Police Department (WPD):
WILLITS, 9/12/21 — A temporary road closure is in place in both directions on Highway 101 south of Willits near mile marker 42, at the Ridgewood grade near the Howard Forest CalFire station, due to a vehicle collision, being called the “Howard Incident.” Traffic will also be rerouted near the intersection with State Route 20 west at the intersection with the Willits bypass. Multiple injuries are being reported due to the collision, as well as one possibly fatality, and medical responders are on the way to the scene including a REACH air ambulance.
Right now there is no information as to when the road will be re-opened. We will update as ore information becomes available.
This is a developing situation and information may change. We’ll update this article as more information becomes available. The most recent information will be updated at the top of the article, with the earlier reports below.