On Wednesday, November 22, 2017, at approximately 1735 hours, 18 year old Thomas Ladewig of Redding, CA, was driving his 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier eastbound on SR-299 near mile post marker 35. Ladewig's passengers were 18 year old Bryce Tracy of Redding, CA and 16 year old Alexis Hill of Anderson, CA. For reasons still being investigated, Ladewig drove his vehicle off the south edge of SR-299 and down an embankment, where it collided with boulders and a tree before overturning and coming to rest. Passenger Hill, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and suffered fatal injuries. Ladewig and Tracy, who were each wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision, suffered moderate injuries and were taken to Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata, CA.
The vehicle was impounded for evidence. DUI does not appear to have been a factor in the collision and the California Highway Patrol is continuing its investigation into the cause of the collision. The Humboldt County Coroner's Office, Caltrans and Buddy's Towing service responded to the scene to assist.
The Humboldt CHP would like to advise motorists that, during inclement weather, please slow down and allow yourself extra time to get to your destination. Additionally, you increase your chances of surviving a serious collision by 50 percent when wearing a seatbelt. It only takes two seconds to buckle up and those two seconds could save your life.