On June 19, California Highway Patrol received a call at approximately 10 p.m. concerning a pedestrian who had been the victim of a hit-and-run. Officers responded to the scene at State Route 299 in Willow Creek and determined the victim suffered fatal injuries. Police say the 22-year-old Willow Creek man died from blunt force trauma.
Soon after police responded to the incident, another patrol officer identified the vehicle involved in the crash parked behind a local market. Law enforcement officials were assisted by a local K-9 unit and the United States Forest Service, but they were unable to locate the suspect after searching for hours. By examining vehicle information and witness statements, investigators were able to apprehend the suspect the following morning.
The 36-year-old Arcata male was arrested at his residence on charges for hit-and-run, manslaughter, suspicion of DUI and obstructing or delaying an officer. The suspect posted a $100,000 bail bond on June 21 and is no longer in custody at Humboldt County Jail.
Family members of a victim killed in a hit-and-run may consider meeting with a lawyer in order to file a wrongful death claim. A family may be entitled to recover economic damages caused by the accident, including funeral costs, medical expenses and loss of support or services.
Immediate relatives may also be due restitution for non-economic damages that include compensation for loss of society, love and companionship. Spouses and minor children may be qualified for additional damages as well. In some cases, a lawyer could be able to prove that a fatal pedestrian accident was caused by the driver’s negligence.