A McKinleyville man was killed Monday, July 29,when his car went off the road and he was impaled by a tree branch on U.S. Highway 101 south of State Route 299.
According to the California Highway Patrol, the deceased is 40-year-old David John Rainer of McKinleyville.
At about 11:30 a.m., Rainer was driving his gray 2005 Ford Explorer southbound on the highway in the right lane at approximately 65 miles per hour.
For reasons still under investigation, the Ford gradually drove off the west roadway edge and collided into a highway sign. The Ford continued in a southerly direction down an embankment and drove into a grove of trees, where the vehicle eventually came to rest.
Rainer sustained fatal injuries when he was impaled by a tree branch that penetrated the vehicle's windshield during the course of the collision, according to the Highway Patrol.
The driver had his seatbelt on at the time of the collision and DUI as a factor is currently being investigated.
The southbound highway near the collision scene was reduced to one lane of traffic for several hours while the traffic collision was being investigated and the vehicle was being recovered. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Humboldt Area is investigating this traffic collision.
The CHP would like to thank the Arcata Police Department, Arcata Fire Department, Alder Camp Calfire, Caltrans, Arcata-Mad River Ambulance, and the Humboldt County Coroner's Office for their quick response to this traffic collision and their assistance in processing the collision scene.