A teenage pedestrian was killed last night in McKinleyville when an allegedly drunk driver hit her shortly after 8 p.m.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the girl was was northbound on the east shoulder of Central Avenue, north of Anna Sparks Way, when James Arthur Merrick, of McKinleyville, allowed his 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 to drift off the roadway and onto the shoulder after turning onto Central Avenue. Merrick's vehicle struck her and continued eastbound on the shoulder until it ran into a light pole, after which Merrick allegedly attempted to flee the scene before being detained by several witnesses.
The pedestrian was transported to Mad River Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Merrick was arrested at the scene and alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the collision, according to CHP.
See the full CHP press release copied below:
Fatality Collision on Central Avenue
McKinleyville, California- On the evening of Wednesday, December 14th, one female teenage pedestrian sustained fatal injuries after being struck by a passing vehicle.
At approximately 8:07 p.m., James Arthur Merrick , of McKinleyville, was turning his 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 from eastbound Anna Sparks Way onto northbound Central Avenue. The juvenile pedestrian was walking northbound on the east shoulder of Central Avenue, north of Anna Sparks Way. For reasons still under investigation Mr. Merrick allowed his vehicle to drive off the roadway and onto the east shoulder of Central Avenue striking the juvenile pedestrian. The vehicle continued eastbound on the shoulder until it collided into a light pole. Merrick attempted to flee the scene of the collision but was detained by several witnesses until Law Enforcement arrived on scene. The juvenile pedestrian was transported to Mad River Community Hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries.
Merrick was placed under arrest and alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in this traffic collision. The California Highway Patrol-Humboldt Area responded to the scene and is conducting the investigation.