Press release from the California Highway Patrol:
The Humboldt County Coroner's Toxicology report revealed that Daniel Lentz Ole Morris, who was the driver in last week's quadruple fatal collision on State Route 36, was under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the collision. This traffic collision continues to be investigated by the California Highway Patrol Humboldt Area.
On the evening of Sunday, August 10, a single vehicle collided head-on into a tree on State Route 36, east of Hydesville, resulting in multiple fatalities and major injuries.
At approximately 4:30 pm, a 2002 Dodge Dakota pickup truck was traveling westbound on State Route 36, just east of Fisher Road, when it veered to the right off the roadway edge and collided head-on into a tree. Four of the vehicle's eight occupants including the driver, one male and three females, were pronounced deceased at the scene. The remaining four occupants were transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital with major injuries. The male driver was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision and seatbelt usage among the remaining occupants is still under investigation. Several of the occupants were in the rear of the pickup truck when it collided into the tree. Two dogs were rescued from the vehicle, one having sustained major injuries. The occupants' names are being withheld pending family notification.
DUI as a factor in this traffic collision is being investigated, but has not yet been confirmed or ruled out. The California Highway Patrol is investigating this traffic collision.
The CHP would like to acknowledge the quick response and outstanding efforts by Caltrans, Calfire, Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department, Carlotta Volunteer Fire Department, Humboldt County Coroner's Office, Humboldt County Sheriff Animal Control Unit, Buddy's Towing, City Ambulance of Eureka, and Redwood Memorial Hospital personnel.
This collision is the deadliest traffic collision investigated by the CHP in Humboldt County in nearly 12 years.
The four occupants that received fatal injuries are 40 year old Daniel Lentz Ole Morris (restrained in the driver seat), 33 year old Alisha Marie Summerfield (seated unrestrained in the right front passenger seat), 13 year old Judith Maxine Martin (seated unrestrained in the rear truck bed), and 20 year old Savanna Nicole Line Ramirez (seated unrestrained in the rear truck bed). Each of the fatal victims recently resided in the Fortuna area.
The four occupants that sustained injuries are 15 year old Thomas M. Wheeler of Fortuna, 15 year old Miss Taylor M. Wheeler of Fortuna, 15 year old Faith Nadine Anderson of Scotia, and 21 year old Christopher Douglas Spencer of Fortuna. Each of these injured occupants are listed as in critical, but stable condition. After initially being transported to Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna, Thomas and Taylor Wheeler, twin siblings, were transported by air ambulance to UD Davis Medical Center. Faith Anderson and Christopher Spencer were transported by air ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
Summerfield was the mother of Judith Martin, and Thomas and Taylor Wheeler.
DUI as a collision factor remains under investigation pending a toxicology report from the Humboldt County Coroner's office.
The Hospice of Humboldt Grief Support Services is offering grief counseling to any friends, family, or community members effected by this tragic incident. The Grief Support Services hotline is (707) 445-8443.