Weekend Crash Claims 34-year-old McKinleyville Woman


The California Highway Patrol is continuing its investigation into a single car crash on State Route 96 near Willow Creek on Saturday morning that left a 34-year-old McKinleyville woman dead.

According to the CHP, Stormy Joy McConnell was driving her silver 2000 Nissan Frontier southbound on State Route 96 at about 8 a.m. when, for unknown reasons, she lost control of the vehicle, causing it to cross over the northbound lanes and plunge down a hillside into an oak tree. McConnell’s two passengers — a 46-year-old Crescent City woman and a 9-year-old McKinleyville boy — received moderate to major injuries in the crash, according to CHP, and McConnell died at the scene.

Police do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in the accident, but continue to investigate why McConnell lost control of the vehicle.

As the Journal has reported, Humboldt County has one of the highest vehicle fatality rates in the country.

See the full press release from CHP copied below:

On February 27, 2016 at approximately 8:00 a.m., 34 year old Stormy Joy McConnell of McKinleyville was driving her silver 2000 Nissan Frontier southbound on SR-96, north of Trinity Valley Farm (MM 3), at an unknown speed.  46 year old Toni Rae Peters of Crescent City was properly restrained in the front passenger seat; a 9 year old male juvenile from McKinleyville was seated in the rear passenger area.   For unknown reason, Ms. McConnell lost control of her vehicle, drifting in an easterly direction, and crossing the northbound lane of SR-96.  The Nissan then traversed over the roadway edge and down the hillside where it collided with an oak tree.  It was daylight, cloudy and the roadway was wet from earlier rains (not raining at time of collision).
Emergency personnel from the Willow Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Salyer Fire Department, and Hoopa Ambulance responded to the scene to provide emergency medical care. 
Ms. McConnell was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Ms. Peters and the 9 year old male juvenile were transported to Mad River Community Hospital with moderate to major injuries.  It does not appear impairment was a factor in the collision, however;  CHP continues to investigate the collision.

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