DEL NORTE COUNTY, Ca. (KIEM) – Negotiations between an armed person and law officials caused US-101, between mile marker 14 and 22, to be shut down for hours over the weekend causing motorists to become stranded.
Just after 3 p.m. Saturday, the California Highway Patrol in the Crescent City area was advised that the National Park Service was in a pursuit of a tan Buick Century.
The pursuit headed northbound on US-101 in Humboldt County toward the Del Norte County line when CHP took over the pursuit, got in position and deployed a spike strip puncturing all four tires of the suspect’s vehicle.
The suspect vehicle continued about a mile north before coming to a stop blocking the northbound traffic lanes.
The sole occupant of the vehicle brandished a firearm and would not give up his weapon to law enforcement.
The suspect remained in the vehicle with the gun and refused to comply with officers orders which caused the US-101 to remain closed for about 11 hours.
With the help of several law enforcement agencies and the Del Norte county Sheriff the person was taken into custody after surrendering to police on scene.
By order of Public Health and OES hotels were authorized to rent rooms to non-residents of Del Norte County who were trapped on either side of the US-101.
Eureka resident Steven Sousa was out for some shopping and dinner, he was one of the motorists stranded.
“We started headed home and that’s when we saw the line of cars,” he said. “The lady in front, once we pulled aside told us that they were there for two or three hours already.”
“I said let’s go get a room, a motel room cause we don’t know how long it’s going to be,” said Sousa. “We approached the hotel, we were probably one of the first ones and then as time kept going, it kept getting fuller and fuller, and then it was pretty much sold out.”
According to the Del Norte Office of Emergency Services, the Red Cross and DNCO, worked with the Yurok OES to provide blankets and other supplies to motorists stranded on the Hill between South Beach and Klamath.