Thursday, November 30, 2023

CHP: Mendocino County Man Arrested for Richardson Grove Fatal Hit-and-Run

The following is a press release issued by the California Highway Patrol Garberville Office. This has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

[Stock image from Matt LaFever]

On 09/20/2023 at approximately 1330 hours, a pedestrian was walking from a trail on the west roadway edge of US-101, south of the Richardson Grove State Park entrance. Based on witness statements, the pedestrian stopped just west of the west roadway edge on the dirt shoulder awaiting a family member. At that time, a vehicle which was later identified as a 2010 Black Toyota Tundra, driven by Earl Castillo of Leggett, was traveling southbound on US-101.  Castillo allowed the Toyota to travel off the west roadway edge and crashed with the pedestrian standing on the dirt shoulder. Castillo failed to stop at the crash scene, fleeing southbound on US-101.  Shortly after the crash, CHP personnel arrived on scene. CHP located vehicle parts identifying the involved vehicle as black Toyota pickup. This information was broadcast via CHP Dispatch and a be on the lookout for the involved vehicle was requested.  Multiple Cal-Trans employees who heard the broadcast observed the Toyota matching the description and called it in to CHP dispatch.  While traveling on US-101, two officers observed the Toyota and attempted to make an enforcement stop. The Toyota failed to yield to the patrol vehicle’s lights and sirens and traveled northbound at a high rate of speed.  The Toyota attempted to flee up a private driveway but due to a locked gate, was unable to continue.  Officers conducted a high risk stop and detained Castillo. Evidence from the scene and damage Castillo’s Toyota were consistent with the vehicle’s involvement in the crash. Upon evaluation, Castillo was determined to be DUI and was placed under arrest for 23153(G)VC, 20001 VC, 192(C)(1) PC, 1203.2 PC, 2800.1 VC.  Castillo was transported to the Humboldt County Jail and booked on the above charges. Due to the nature of the crash and charges, a bail enhancement was requested and granted.

The California Highway Patrol Garberville Area is conducting follow-up and ask if anyone observed the actual crash or the Toyota fleeing the scene to please call the office at 707-932-6100.

The Garberville Area CHP would like to thank citizens who stopped at the scene and rendered aid. The following agencies assisted with this investigation: Cal-trans, Garberville Fire, Cal-Fire, City Ambulance, and State Parks.

- Advertisement -


  1. I hope this asshole drunk driver rots in prison. Several years ago a good friend lost his wife on Ca state 20 just outside of Ft. Bragg to a drunk driver who crossed over and hit her head on she and my friend were riding motorcycles he was in front of her and saw the guy almost hit him and then hit his wife head on. She was dead at the scene. The drunk got 12 years with parole after 6 years. It should be 1st degree murder not manslaughter when you knowingly get behind the wheel impaired and kill someone!

Join the Conversation

MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

Today's News


News from the Week