According to a news release from the California Highway Patrol:
On August 12,2011, at approximately 9:30 AM, Cara Duke, 34 of Rio Dell was driving a 1987 Pontiac Firebird eastbound on SR-36, west of the Grizzly Creek Campground, at an estimated speed of 50 miles per hour. Duke was allegedly traveling at an unsafe speed as she negotiated a right hand curve in the roadway. She reportedly allowed her vehicle to travel over the double yellow lines and into the westbound lane. Duke made an evasive turning movement to the right in an attempt to regain control of her vehicle. Duke’s vehicle rotated approx. 180 degrees in a clockwise direction, back across the eastbound lane and over the dirt shoulder on the south side of the highway. Duke’s vehicle continued down the steep mountain embankment approx. 120 feet, where it impacted a dirt trail. The vehicle then overturned and came to rest on its right side in a location where it was not visible from the highway. As a result of the collision, Duke sustained a fractured lower back, fractured ribs and a collapsed lung. Due to her injuries she was unable to get out of the vehicle and access the highway to seek medical assistance.
On August 14, 2011, at around 11:50 AM, Alice Vasterling, a resident of Eureka, was traveling on SR-36. She stopped at a turnout east of the collision scene. Vasterling was walking her dog down a trail toward the river and discovered Duke’s vehicle. Vasterling returned to her vehicle and called 9-1-1 to report the collision.
Emergency personnel from the Carlotta Volunteer Fire Department, Bridgeville Volunteer Fire Department, Cal-Fire, California Highway Patrol and City Ambulance responded to the scene. Duke was removed from her vehicle and transported to Redwood memorial Hospital in Fortuna.