UPDATE: Coroner releases names of deceased. From the coroner:
The deceased persons have been identified as Stacy M. Kejar, age 55, of McKinleyville. The second subject has been identified as Karen L. Brennan, age 59, of Eureka.
California Highway Patrol
ARCATA – The driver in a fatal accident that left two dead on Tuesday, march 31, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Just after 6 p.m., 57-year-old William Larry Morris of Fortuna was driving a silver Hyundai Accent southbound on U.S. Highway 101, south of State Route 299, along with two adult female passengers.
Due to Morris allegedly driving while under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs, he allowed the vehicle to drive off the west roadway edge where the vehicle collided directly into a tree.
The female adult passenger who was seated in the right front seat sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene. The female adult passenger who was seated in the right rear seat was transported by ground ambulance to Mad River Community Hospital where she was pronounced deceased a short time later.
Morris sustained minor injuries and was ultimately booked into the Humboldt County Jail facility on suspicion of felony DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter.
It was further discovered that Morris was driving on a suspended license. The two female occupants who sustained fatal injuries were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the collision.
A few minutes prior to this collision, CHP Humboldt Communications Center received a 911 call of a reckless driver in a silver sedan on U.S. Highway 101 Southbound, south of McKinleyville. It is believed that this is the same vehicle that was involved in the traffic collision.
Agencies that responded to and assisted with this collision include the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office, Caltrans, Arcata Fire Protection District, Humboldt Bay Fire, City Ambulance of Eureka, and Mad River Community Hospital personnel.
This is the fifth fatal collision investigated by the CHP Humboldt Area office to date for the 2015 year that has resulted in a total of seven fatal victims. 4 of these 7 victims are the result of DUI. The CHP reminds motorists to dial 9-1-1 immediately if you suspect a driver to be DUI.