CHP continues search for vehicle in Eel River

The occupants have not been identified, but may have been a family on a road trip.


MENDOCINO Co., 4/10/18 — The California Highway Patrol (CHP) continued search efforts today for a vehicle that went off a steep embankment into the Eel River, off of Highway 101, somewhere between Dora Creek and the entrance to Standish Hickey Park, April 6, during the recent storm.

On that day a vehicle matching the description of a Valencia family, went over the embankment, but due to the storm conditions, and the murkiness of the water, rescuers from the CHP, Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue, Piercy Volunteer Fire and Leggett Fire were not able to locate the car.

CHP believes the vehicle may belong to a family that went missing on a road trip from Portland, Oregon, to San Jose, but it has not been confirmed whether it is the same vehicle. The multi-agency search effort launched today will look for any signs of the occupants or vehicle in the surrounding areas. The joint incident command will include the Garberville CHP office, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Cal-Fire, Leggett Volunteer Fire, Piercy Volunteer Fire and Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue.

The incident remains under investigation and we’ll update as more information becomes available.

You can read more about the missing family in these two articles from the Santa Clarita Signal.

Kym Kemp at Redheaded Blackbelt has been covering the search and rescue efforts, you can read her coverage here.

Here’s the most recent CHP press release:

On April 6, 2018, at approximately 1310 hours, Humboldt Communications Center (HCC) received a report of a vehicle over the side of a steep embankment on US-101, south of Dora Creek in Northern Mendocino County. Upon the arrival of emergency personnel, the involved vehicle was completely submerged in the Eel River. The California Highway Patrol, Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue, Piercy Volunteer Fire, and Leggett Volunteer Fire Department all responded to the scene to assist, however due to the strong river current, and the poor clarity, the vehicle was unable to be located. CHP and emergency personnel have continuously searched and monitored the river in attempts to locate the vehicle. CHP has also utilized its helicopter in attempts to locate the vehicle.

*Update*  On April 10, 2018, the Garberville CHP established an joint incident command with Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Cal-Fire, Leggett Volunteer Fire, Piercy Volunteer Fire and Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue to organize continuous search efforts for the missing vehicle and occupants.  All available resources are being utilized by searching personnel. Through the collaborated efforts of all the involved agencies we are working to resolve this incident as quickly and safely as possible. Rescue personnel will be searching the immediate and surrounding areas and constantly evaluating the condition of the river and the weather during the search efforts.

This incident remains under investigation by the Garberville CHP Office.


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