A man whose daughter was killed in a hit-and-run along Eel River Drive was himself involved in a nonfatal hit-and-run a few days after Thanksgiving this year, the California Highway Patrol reported this afternoon.
Myers Flat resident Jeff Tsarnas, 54, was driving a 2001 Toyota Corolla when he allegedly hit 47-year-old Garberville resident Marie Kelley, who was walking along Fernbridge in Loleta.
CHP officers arrived on the scene and spoke with Kelley.
“Ms. Kelley was being treated by emergency medical personnel for injuries to her lower left leg, consistent with having been hit and/or run over by a vehicle,” a CHP news release stated.
Kelley was taken to Redwood Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries.
CHP reported the vehicle left the scene, but officers recovered “a broken driver’s side vehicle mirror.”
Two days after the incident occurred, Tsarnas turned himself in to the local CHP office and stated he was the driver at the time of the incident.
“Mr. Tsarnas also brought the involved vehicle to the CHP office and the broken mirror was matched to this vehicle,” the release stated.
Tsarnas gave a full statement to the CHP.
Tsarnas’ daughter Faith was fatally struck in an incident on Eel River Drive in July 2016 while she was longboarding with her friend Kiya Kitchen. Kitchen’s mother, Marcia Kitchen, was later arrested and in August was convicted of vehicular manslaughter that resulted in the deaths of both 14-year-old girls.
Tsarnas has filed a civil suit against Kitchen, who is currently serving time in prison in Chowchilla.
“The case is ongoing,” Tsarnas’ attorney Elan Firpo said this afternoon.
Asked whether she would represent Tsarnas if the hit-and-run case progressed, Firpo responded, “I don’t know yet.”
CHP spokesman Paul Craft said the officer handling the case was working on determining the applicable charges in the case, which would be considered a felony, and the case will be forwarded to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office.
“He’s actively working on that right now,” Craft said, but he noted there was no specific timeline for when the case will be turned over.
Tsarnas was not arrested when he turned himself in, Craft said.
“That will be up to the district attorney’s office,” he said.
The CHP said it was unknown whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident.
The CHP asks anyone with information about the case to contact the Humboldt area CHP office at 707-822-5981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruth Schneider can be reached at 707-441-0520.