BIG FLAT, Calif. – A man who was driving along Highway 299 between Big Bar and Big Flat in Trinity County is dead after his 2005 Jeep Cherokee overturned into the Trinity River said California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Christopher Dugger on Saturday.
The 52-year-old man was from Big Bar. Officer Dugger said his wife has been notified but the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office will have to release the man’s name at a future time.
Dugger said it appeared that the driver was heading west on Highway 299 at an unknown speed, at an unknown time within a specific timeframe.
The driver last spoke with his wife at 11:30 p.m. on Friday, said Duggar. His vehicle was located in the river at approximately 8:15 a.m. on Saturday.
Dugger said it appears that the driver allowed the right tires of the Jeep Cherokee to drift onto the north shoulder. That shoulder is entirely dirt and gravel. The CHP believes the driver over-corrected toward the left, crossing the eastbound lane – and then “launched” into the Trinity River near the north shore.
The driver died as a result of the crash. Dugger said it is not believed that the driver used any safety restraints.
The CHP does not know at this time if the driver was impaired at the time of the crash. The investigation is still active at this time. Officer Dugger has asked anyone witnessing the crash or with information about it to call the CHP Trinity River Area office at (530) 623-3832.