UPDATE, 4:10 p.m.: From the California Highway Patrol:

In the late morning of September 8th, a DUI driver sustained major injuries after driving off US-101 Southbound, north of Fernbridge, and colliding into a tree.

At approximately 11:00 a.m., 61 year old Linda Joy Merson of Fortuna was driving a 2010 BMW 535i on US-101 Southbound, north of Fernbridge, when her vehicle drove off the west roadway edge and collided head-on into a tree.  Merson was extricated from the vehicle by Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department personnel and transported by ground ambulance to Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna with major injuries.  Merson was ultimately placed under arrest for DUI and, due to her extent of injuries, released to the care of hospital staff.

The California Highway Patrol Humboldt Area office is investigating this traffic collision.


The California Highway Patrol is responding to a single-car collision on Highway 101, just south of the Ferndale exit. The vehicle left the roadway and went into a wooded area.

According to Officer Aaron Stacy, one woman was found unconscious but “with a strong pulse” in the vehicle. She was extricated and transported to the hospital. Witnesses said that the woman had not been driving erratically prior to leaving the roadway, according to Stacy.