UPDATE, 3:55 p.m. — Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Gregory Van Patten said in an email this afternoon that identification of the victim is still pending due to the condition of her remains. Investigators are currently hoping to identify her using dental records, as is common in fatalities involving fire.
MENDOCINO Co., 4/12/22 — Investigators with the California Highway Patrol released new details this morning about the head-on collision that killed a woman and her dog Monday afternoon on Highway 101 near Spyrock Road. The name of the decedent has not yet been released, but according to the CHP she was heading north when her brown Nissan Titan crossed over the double-yellow line and struck a semi-truck hauling soil around 2:35 p.m. Her vehicle caught fire and she died at the scene.
The big-rig driver, a 35-year-old man from Willits, suffered major injuries in the crash and was transported to Adventist Health Howard Memorial hospital. The victim’s name has been withheld from this article to protect his privacy; and an update on his condition was not immediately available. The crash blocked the highway for about six hours while emergency personnel cleared soil and vehicles out of the road.
There were two dogs in the pickup at the time of the crash. One survived, and was taken to the Mendocino County Animal Shelter.
According to CHP it was cold and cloudy at the time of the crash, but rain and hail were moving through the area all day. Weather may have been a factor, but it’s not currently thought to be the cause. Officer Clevenger, who wrote the press release below, said the crash was likely caused by the pickup driver crossing into opposing traffic. The staff at The Voice extend our condolences to her family.