Father, Son Killed in Alleged Fortuna DUI


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A 74-year-old man and his 53-year-old son were both killed Thursday night in a suspected DUI crash on Fortuna's Drake Hill Road, the California Highway Patrol reported this morning.

According to the CHP, Jacky Martin, 53, of San Francisco, was driving a 2004 Mini Cooper southbound on Ronald Avenue toward Drake Hill Road with his father, Thomas Martin, 74, of Fortuna, in the passenger seat. Jacky Martin was driving under the influence of alcohol, according to CHP, and failed to stop at the intersection of Drake Hill Road before colliding with a dirt embankment south of the intersection, causing the vehicle to overturn.

Neither Jacky Martin nor his father were wearing their seat belts, according to CHP. Jacky Martin was declared dead at the scene and his father was transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital, where he died early Friday morning.

The accident was potentially the second DUI fatality at the intersection in the last seven months. In December, Michael Horn was allegedly driving drunk, heading southbound on Ronald Avenue, when he blew threw the same stop sign, his 2002 Suburu colliding head-on with the same embankment on the south side of Drake Hill Road, killing one of Horn's passengers and seriously injuring two others.

The full CHP press releases from both incidents are copied below:

July 4, 2014

HUMBOLDT, Calif. - On the night of July 3rd, A solo vehicle traffic collision at the intersection of Drake Hill Road and Ronald Avenue in the Fortuna area claimed the lives of a father and son.

At approximately 9:00 p.m., 53 year old Jacky Martin of San Francisco was driving a 2004 Mini Cooper southbound on Ronald Avenue, approaching the intersection of Drake Hill Road. 74 year old Thomas Martin of Fortuna, Jacky's father, was seated in the right front passenger seat. Jacky, who was driving under the influence of alcohol, failed to stop at the intersection of Drake Hill Road. As the Mini Cooper continued through the intersection, Jacky applied the vehicle's brakes and turned to the left. The Mini Cooper's passenger side subsequently collided into a dirt embankment south of the intersection. This impact combined with the vehicle's velocity at impact caused the vehicle to overturn. The Mini Cooper ultimately came to rest on its roof. Neither Jacky nor Thomas were wearing their seat belts at the time of the collision. Thomas remained in the vehicle, but Jacky was partially ejected. Jacky was declared deceased at the scene and Thomas was transported by ground ambulance to Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna where he succumbed to his injuries the early morning of July 4th.

DUI is believed to be a factor in this traffic collision. The collision scene was managed with the assistance of the Fortuna Police Department and the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department. The CHP Humboldt Area office is investigating this traffic collision.

This collision occurred on the eve of Independence Day during the CHP's Independence Day Maximum Enforcement Period. The CHP will continue to heavily enforce DUI activity and unbelted occupants through the weekend along with the anticipated increased number of motorists on Humboldt County's roadways. We urge all motorists to plan ahead and designate a sober driver before the festivities begin.

December 16, 2013

On 12/16/2013, at approximately 0208 hours, Mr. Michael Horn was driving a 2002 Subaru southbound on Ronald Avenue. Due to Mr. Horns level of intoxication, Mr. Horn failed to stop at the posted stop sign at the intersection with Drake Hill Road. The Subaru traveled through the intersection and collided head-on into a dirt embankment on the south shoulder of Drake Hill Road. The right rear passenger, suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. Two other passengers, Julia Ralsten and Ashley Humphrey also suffered major injuries and are currently both in critical condition. Occupant restraint usage and air bag deployment are being investigated. Mr. Horn was arrested for felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter, and was subsequently booked into the Humboldt County Jail. Officer Hindley #15771 is investigating the collision. Ronald Avenue and Drake Hill Road were open to controlled traffic and was closed for approximately 20 minutes during vehicle recovery.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation by the California Highway Patrol. The identity of the deceased passenger is being withheld pending family notifications.

The California Highway Patrol - Humboldt Area responded to the scene and is conducting the investigation. Emergency personnel from Fortuna Fire Department, Fortuna Police Department, and the Humboldt County Coroner’s responded to the scene to assist with the investigation.


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