Yesterday evening, Ukiah rang out with the sounds of sirens after emergency personnel responded to what was initially reported as a possible fatal traffic collision on South State Street. The collision would leave a wheelchair-bound man with major injuries requiring an air ambulance and hospitalization.
CHP Public Information Officer Olegario Marin told us officers were dispatched at 5:26 p.m. to the corner of South State Street and Laws Avenue and initial reports stated that a motorcyclist had struck a man in a wheelchair in front of Chavez Market. Initial information suggested the collision was a “possible fatality.”
Once on scene, emergency personnel and law enforcement determined a 2014 Honda Accord driven by 31-year-old Ukiah resident Janely Martinez hit the motorized wheelchair.
The wheelchair-bound man was identified as 68-year-old Ukiah resident Vernon Ross who was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital via air ambulance for major injuries.
At this point, investigators are still looking into the accident. They have not found any indications that alcohol or drugs are factors in the collision.
This story is also a real-time example of the fluid nature of reporting on breaking news. Our coverage yesterday evening identified the victim as a cyclist based on scanner traffic. Through follow-up work, we found accurate information and updated accordingly.