On April 24, 2016, at approximately 10:24 pm, John F Connelly, age 66, of Hewitt, NJ, was driving a 2016 Mazda northbound on US-101 near Big Lagoon. James Simmons II, age 43. of Arcata, was driving his 2012 Ford southbound on US-101 near Big Lagoon. Due to Mr. Connelly's level of impairment, he allowed the Mazda to cross into the southbound lane of US-101 and collided with the Ford. Mr. Connelly and Mr. Simmons both sustained major injuries as a result of the collision. Mr. Connelly and Mr. Simmons were both transported to Mad River Community Hospital for treatment. Mr. Connelly was subsequently arrested for felony Driving Under the Influence (DUI) by the California Highway Patrol and released at the hospital prior to being transported by air ambulance to Oregon Health & Science University Hospital.
The California Highway Patrol- Humboldt Area responded to the scene and is conducting the investigation. US-101 was closed in both directions for approximately 1 hour to facilitate the treatment of the involved and the traffic collision investigation.