Neither the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office nor the Garberville office of the California Highway Patrol has been willing to disclose details about the death of Drake Gammell, the 21 year old who was taken off life support Wednesday after being found with "major injuries" Sept. 24.
Gammell, who is from Omaha, Nebraska, was reported as being "down in the roadway" on the Avenue of the Giants about a mile north of Philipsville, in Southern Humboldt, shortly after 1 a.m. on Sept. 24. The driver of a vehicle at the scene, Chelsea Leanne Cookston, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol but was released on her own recognizance later that morning. She has so far not been charged in the case, according to Humboldt County Superior Court records.
Neither the HCSO or the CHP would answer Journal
questions about how Gammell sustained his injuries. An autopsy was conducted, and the sheriff's office's investigation is ongoing. Garberville CHP officer William Wonderlich said his agency's involvement was limited to arresting Cookston under suspicion of DUI.
From the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office:
On 09/24/2017 at about 1:15 AM, 21 year old Drake Gammell (DOB 11/03/1995) sustained major injuries in an incident on Highway 254 just north of Phillipsville. Gammell was taken to a local hospital where he was placed on life support. Gammell’s family, who reside outside of California, arrived at the hospital and Gammell was taken off of life support. Gammell succumbed to his injuries yesterday, 09/27/2017. An autopsy was conducted, and the investigation is ongoing to determine cause of death.