The Fortuna Police Department’s Lt. Matt Eberhardt just told the Outpost — in addition to the information in the press release, below — that his office is not currently investigating yesterday’s fatal collision as a crime. Right now they are looking closely at the possibility of mechanical failure.

Nevertheless, they’re taking the matter seriously. “Any fatal traffic collision, we handle it with the same rigor as a homicide,” Eberhardt said.

He added that it is currently uncertain whether anyone was driving the vehicle at the time of the tragic accident, or whether no one was behind the wheel at all.


Fortuna Police Department press release:

On January 5, 2015 at approximately 2:17 pm Officers with the Fortuna Police Department responded to a single vehicle traffic collision on private property in the 100 block of 12th Street in Fortuna. Officers found a 1997 Ford Explorer had collided with a vacant apartment and an adult female associated with the vehicle was fatally wounded as a result of the traffic collision. Humboldt County Coroner’s Office was called to assist with the investigation. The Investigation is ongoing.