Scanner traffic and the California Highway Patrol Traffic Incident Information page indicate a vehicle crashed into a tree along Highway 101 south of Hopland and subsequently erupted into flames. Sadly, one person died in the accident.
Highway 101 traffic is being diverted as first responders secure the scene. Drivers will be directed to use Old River Road and Highway 175 to circumvent the incident.
The Incident Commander reported the car fire resulted in a minor spread into nearby vegetation approximately one-half mile north of La Franchi Road.
Initial reports of the incident came in at 5:49 a.m. shortly followed by reports “loud pops were coming from the vehicle” which a reporting party suggested to the dispatcher could be from live ammunition in the car.
UPDATE 7:19 p.m.: Traffic is still being diverted around the Incident. A coroner arrived at the scene moments ago. The diversion route is not particularly inconvenient requiring a brief detour onto Old River Road before returning to Highway 101.
UPDATE 9:05 a.m.: The roadway has been cleared and traffic is moving freely on Highway 101.
Please remember that this story is unfolding. Information is being reported as we gather it. However, some of the information coming from witnesses and initial official reports could be wrong. We will do our best to get the facts but, in the case that something is inaccurate, we will update with correct information as soon as we can.