McKinleyville woman dies after car hits tree

Mad River Union

WILLOW CREEK – A 34-year-old McKinleyville woman died Saturday morning, Feb. 27 after her car went off the road and slammed into an oak tree in Eastern Humboldt County.

At about 8 a.m., Stormy Joy McConnell, 34, of McKinleyville was driving her silver 2000 Nissan Frontier southbound on State Route 96, north of Trinity Valley Farm (MM 3), at an unknown speed.

Toni Rae Peters, 46, of Crescent City was properly restrained in the front passenger seat; a 9-year-old male juvenile from McKinleyville was seated in the rear passenger area.   

For unknown reasons, McConnell lost control of her vehicle, drifting in an easterly direction, and crossing the northbound lane of the highway.  The Nissan then traversed over the roadway edge and down the hillside where it collided with an oak tree. It was daylight, cloudy and the roadway was wet from earlier rains, although it was not raining at time of collision.

Emergency personnel from the Willow Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Salyer Fire Department and Hoopa Ambulance responded to the scene to provide emergency medical care.

McConnell was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Peters and the juvenile were transported to Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata with moderate to major injuries.  It does not appear impairment was a factor in the collision. However, the California Highway Patrol continues to investigate the collision.

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