UPDATE: The CHP has identified a possible vehicle in the hit and run – a Toyota Prius, a 2010 to 2015 model.
In its press release the CHP says "the vehicle will have little to no damage to the front bumper area. The vehicle will have a missing, front, driver side fender wall."
Benjamin Lee Taggart, a 21-year old man who died from a major head wound on Jan. 5 after being found near the Eureka Slough Bridge, was the victim of a hit-and-run, says the California Highway Patrol. Taggart, who family say suffered from mental illness and was prone to wandering, was found at 12:20 a.m. near southbound U.S. Highway 101.
The CHP is investigating Taggart's death and seeks the public's help finding the suspect vehicle, which may have damage to the front driver side and bumper/fender area. Taggart is the second road death of 2017; on New Year's Day a driver rolled his car near Kneeland
in what is suspected to be a DUI.
From the California Highway Patrol:
UPDATE: The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Humboldt Area has taken the lead in investigating the death of a 21 year old man on US-101. Over the weekend an autopsy was performed and the pathologist ruled the death to be a traffic collision. At this time the CHP is following up on several investigative leads. We are looking for assistance from the public. The suspect vehicle may have damage to the front driver side bumper/fender area. If anyone has any information that may help identify the person responsible in the death of this young man please contact the Humboldt CHP Office at (707)822-5981 during business hours or the Humboldt Communications Center at (707)268-2000 after business hours.
ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE:
SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCE ON US-101
EUREKA, Calif. – On the morning of Thursday, January 5th, a 21 year old man sustained life threatening injuries following an unknown occurrence.
At approximately 12:20 am, Humboldt Area CHP responded to a report of a pedestrian in the roadway near southbound US-101 just north of the Eureka Slough Bridge. When CHP Officers arrived on scene they located an unresponsive man, lying on the left shoulder with a major head injury. The man was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital. No vehicle’s or witnesses were located at the scene. Due to the lack of physical evidence it is unclear at this time if it was a traffic collision or other circumstances that lead to the injuries sustained by the man. Humboldt Area CHP and Eureka Police Department are working diligently together to determine the cause of the incident.