Humboldt County residents uninjured in Willits crash that closed Highway 101


Two Humboldt County residents were uninjured in a multi-vehicle crash Monday morning on U.S. Highway 101 just north of Willits, the California Highway Patrol announced.

Around 8:15 a.m., Justin Coggins, a Fort Bragg resident, crashed his 2019 Peterbilt into Arcata resident John Bullwinkel’s 2008 Peterbilt, leading the latter vehicle into a collision with Fortuna resident Richard Bailey’s Nissan, which had stopped southbound on Highway 101 due to unsafe traffic conditions ahead.

Neither Bailey nor Bullwinkel sustained injuries. A 1999 Chrysler traveling northbound on the highway was also involved in the collision, and an unnamed Willits resident in that car received a wrist injury.

“After the collision, the 2019 Peterbilt traversed a steep embankment east of US-101 and came to a rest within the dense overgrowth east of US-101,” the CHP stated in a release.

The crash led to the highway being closed intermittently throughout the morning. The CHP announced Monday it did not suspect drugs or alcohol as a factor in the collision.

Shomik Mukherjee can be reached at 707-441-0504.

PREVIOUSLY: From a California Highway Patrol release:

On November 4, 2019, at approximately 0815 hours, Richard Bailey was driving a 2014 Nissan sedan southbound on US-101, in the southbound lane, in the vicinity of mile post marker 50.18 (approximately two and a half miles north Willits).

Mr. Bailey stopped the Nissan in the southbound lane due to a traffic hazard ahead. John Bullwinkel was driving a 2008 Peterbilt truck-tractor combination southbound on US-101, directly behind the Nissan. Mr. Bullwinkel slowed the 2008 Peterbilt, turned to the left, partially entered the northbound lane, and came to a stop.

Robert McAdams Jr. was driving a 1999 Chrysler van, transporting two passengers, northbound on US-101, in the northbound lane, south of the Nissan and 2008 Peterbilt. The Chrysler began driving around the 2008 Peterbilt. Justin Coggins was driving a 2019 Peterbilt log truck southbound US-101, in the southbound lane, approaching the other parties, while rounding a curve.

Due to Mr. Coggins driving the 2019 Peterbilt at an unsafe speed for the traffic conditions, he was unable to stop the Peterbilt and turned to the left, to avoid a collision with the rear of the 2008 Peterbilt’s trailer.

Mr. Coggins entered the northbound lane and collided with the left front of the 2008 Peterbilt’s trailer. This collision caused the 2008 Peterbilt to collide with the Nissan. Mr. McAdam’s observed the 2019 Peterbilt approaching and turned the Chyrsler to the right in an attempt to avoid a collision, but the 2019 Peterbilt’s left side collided with the left side of theChrysler.

After the collision, the 2019 Peterbilt traversed a steep embankment east of US-101 and came to a rest within the dense overgrowth east of US-101.

A passenger in the Chrysler was transported to a local hospital for treatment of injuries. Caltrans established intermittent traffic closures for both lanes of US-101 while the offloading and recovery is completed. The estimated time for full clean-up is 1500 hours.

Neither alcohol nor drugs are not suspected as a factor in this collision. This collision is under investigation by the CHP Garberville Area.

Watch this space for updates. Got a tip? Let us know at or at 707-441-0500.

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