A Eureka man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs after he crashed his car into a grove of trees near a homeless encampment in Arcata on Friday, officials said.
Officials said Steven Nelson, 32, was driving southbound on U.S. Highway 101 in the No. 1 lane when, due to his alleged level of drug impairment, he allowed his car to veer to the left. It hit the guard rail, bounced to the right through both lanes, went across the South G Street on-ramp and hit a grove of trees adjacent to a homeless encampment, which no one was in at the time.
Nelson was arrested by the California Highway Patrol around noon on suspicion of DUI and taken to the Humboldt County jail, according to the CHP.
"When we initially arrived, the car was unoccupied," California Highway Patrol Officer Matt Harvey said. "That's always a concern because we want to check on the condition of the driver to make sure they're OK. The Arcata Fire Protection District located the suspect just south of the location, near the railroad tracks. Arcata Police Department officers helped us detain him."
Harvey said the patrol did a full DUI investigation and determined Nelson was on drugs.
"We also found he was driving on a suspended license and is on probation for a prior DUI," Harvey said.
Jillian Singh can be reached at 441-0509.