California Highway Patrol release:
The driver of a Ford Crown Victoria was traveling eastbound on SR-299, east of Rose Road, within Trinity County, proceeding straight at approximately 55 miles per hour. For an unknown reason, the driver made an unsafe turning movement to the right, causing the Ford to leave the roadway onto the south shoulder and down a steep embankment. As the vehicle continued in a southeasterly direction down the steep embankment, it overturned onto its roof on the steep rock embankment, and came to rest submerged in the Trinity River.
The passenger was able to extricate herself and attempted to assist the driver but was unable to. The passenger was able to swim to shore, and passing kayakers and rafters were able to pull the driver to the shore where he was later pronounced deceased by arriving medical personnel.
The passenger suffered minor to moderate injuries and was not wearing her seatbelt at the time of the collision. She was transported by ambulance to Trinity General Hospital for treatment and later released. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt and suffered fatal injuries as a result of the collision.
Drugs and/or alcohol have not been ruled out as a possible contributing factor to the cause of this collision.