REDDING, Calif. – On Tuesday, March 21, 2009, a single car crash off State Route 96 in Somes Bar took the life of the driver and critically injured two passengers. According to the Eureka Times-Standard, the crash occurred at approximately 4 p.m. when a 41-year-old Yreka man traveling northbound on State Route 96 made an unsafe left turn, leaving the pavement, then tumbling down a 350-foot embankment, striking trees and rolling until coming to rest in the Klamath River. The driver was dead at the scene and a 27-year-old male passenger and a 37-year-old female passenger, both from Somes Bar, were critically injured. The two passengers were air-lifted to Mercy Medical Center in Redding. Their current status is unknown.
Preliminary investigation suggests that alcohol was involved and questions have been raised about the use of seat belts. This is a very windy and isolated area of roadway along the Klamath River. Accidents along this stretch of road seldom have a positive result. The highway sees increased use during fishing, hunting and vacation seasons. Let’s be safe out there!