The guardrail at the southern approach to the Hoh River bridge on highway 101 was taken out as the vehicle went airborne approximately three fourth of the way across the river before ending up on its wheels a ways off shore.

The guardrail at the southern approach to the Hoh River bridge on highway 101 was taken out as the vehicle went airborne approximately three fourth of the way across the river before ending up on its wheels a ways off shore.

California man hurt after car lands in Hoh River

  • Thu Feb 18th, 2021 9:40am
  • News

By Paul Gottlieb

Olympic Peninsula News Group

A California man whose Chevy sedan went airborne off U.S. Highway 101 before landing in the Hoh River almost 300 feet away remained in satisfactory condition Saturday in Harborview Medical Center.

A nursing supervisor at the Seattle hospital said Saturday that David Valdivias, 25, of San Carlos, Calif., remained in satisfactory condition, as had been his reported condition Friday.

The State Patrol said the cause of the wreck was speed too fast for conditions.

Valdivias was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 101 near Milepost 176, about 15 miles south of Forks, when his vehicle left the roadway, the State Patrol said.

Valdivias, who was wearing a seat belt, went off the road right before the bridge, Forks-area Fire District 1 Chief Bill Paul said.

The car collided with a guardrail, left the ground, struck a tree and continued through the air for 260 feet before landing in the river on all four wheels in a foot of water, according to a State Patrol memo.

Valdivias’s vehicle was 60 feet below the bridge.

A fisherman reported finding him shortly before 9 a.m. on the riverbank, Paul said Friday morning.

Valdivias was interviewed by the State Patrol at the river, Paul said.

He was transported to Forks Community Hospital before being flown to Harborview, the State Patrol said.

The case remains under investigation by the State Patrol.

Emergency responders answered the emergency call at 8:47 a.m. Friday.

A fire district search-and water rescue team did not find occupants in the vehicle or anyone else downstream, Paul said.

Traffic on Highway 101 near the Hoh River was diverted into a single lane for about two hours.

A Forks Community Hospital ambulance transported Valdivias to the hospital.

An Olympic Corrections Center community service crew of seven inmates helped carry Valdivias up a steep ravine from the river to the ambulance.

 

Rescuers carry the victim uphill to the highway.

Rescuers carry the victim uphill to the highway.

Ropes and pulleys are used to help rescuers bring the victim to the highway from the bank of the river. He was then loaded into the Forks ambulance and taken to FCH, and later airlifted to Harborview.

Ropes and pulleys are used to help rescuers bring the victim to the highway from the bank of the river. He was then loaded into the Forks ambulance and taken to FCH, and later airlifted to Harborview.

Forks resident Jody Schroeder shared this photo with the Forks Forum of the difficult retrieval of the wrecked vehicle.

Forks resident Jody Schroeder shared this photo with the Forks Forum of the difficult retrieval of the wrecked vehicle.