The following is a press release issued by the California Highway Patrol:
On the night of Sunday, August 17, a single vehicle traffic collision on U.S. Highway 101, north of Samoa Boulevard, sent two occupants to the hospital with major injuries.
Just after 5 p.m., a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder driven by 18-year-old Ryan Ellena of McKinleyville was traveling southbound on Highway 101, approaching the Samoa Blvd. overcrossing. Ellena lost control of his vehicle, causing the vehicle to spin out of control as it traversed the southbound traffic lanes. The vehicle then overturned multiple times as it crossed a grass median and the collector road to Samoa Blvd. The vehicle ultimately came to rest on its wheels in a drainage ditch just west of US-101. Ellena and his passenger, 16-year-old Joseph Johnson Jr. of McKinleyville, were transported by ground ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital with major injuries. Johnson was then transported by air ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and Ellena remained at St. Joseph Hospital for further evaluation and treatment of injuries.
DUI is not a factor and both occupants appeared to have been wearing their seatbelts at the time of this traffic collision. The Highway 101 Southbound collector road to/from Samoa Blvd. was closed for approximately 90 minutes while the collision scene was being processed.
The CHP would like to acknowledge the quick response and outstanding life-saving efforts by the Arcata Fire Protection District, Arcata Police Department, Arcata-Mad River Ambulance, and St. Joseph Hospital medical personnel.
The California Highway Patrol Humboldt Area is investigating this traffic collision.