Written by

Humboldt County, California – November 11, 2012

Police say a teenage motorist crashed Sunday in the Miranda area, killing himself and injuring three passengers.

According to troopers with the California Highway Patrol, Miranda resident Steven James Hillaire was behind the wheel of a 2005 Chevrolet Monte Carlo as it traveled north along Avenue of the Giants (California State Route 254). Around 2:45 a.m., Steven apparently lost control of the vehicle and veered onto the right shoulder, where he hit a tree.

Paramedics responded to the scene and transported Steven to St. Joseph Hospital and later transferred him to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, but doctors were unable to save him. Meanwhile, 31-year-old passenger and Garberville resident Cora Kent Pickens was taken to Redwood Memorial Hospital, before being transferred to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

Passenger and Phillipsville resident Shawn Paul Bergeron, 20, was taken to Fortuna’s Redwood Memorial Hospital for treatment, while 16-year-old passenger and Rio Dell resident Christopher Allen Thompson was taken to Eureka’s St. Joseph Hospital.

A fourth passenger, 29-year-old McKinleyville resident James Charles Leibman escaped unhurt, but was hospitalized for evaluation. The incident remains under investigation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the number of fatalities along America’s roadways declined in 2010 for the fifth-straight year. The total number of highway deaths last year was 32,788, down 3 percent over 2009.

If you would like an official copy of the police report, request a copy with this form.


By posting here you agree to our terms and conditions.