39-year-old Chico man killed in Highway 99 crash identified
RICHVALE, Calif. - Update 9:00 a.m. Thursday:
The Butte County Coroners Office has identified the man killed in a head on collision on Highway 99 Wednesday morning as Donald Herrmann, 39, from Chico.
The California Highway Patrol said Donald Herrmann, 39, from Chico, was killed at about 7 a.m. Wednesday morning in a head on crash on Highway 99 between Highway 162 East and Highway 162 West.
The collision left debris strewn near and far along Highway 99. "Unfortunately this is our third day in the calendar year and we already have a fatal traffic collision," said CHP Officer Ryan Lambert.
The CHP said Holly Nadine Logan, 36, of Chico, was driving a Toyota Matrix north on Highway 99 towards Chico when, for unknown reasons, she crossed into southbound lanes and hit a Toyota Camry head on.
Officers said the driver of the Camry, 52-year-old Kimberlee Z Bainbridge of Los Molinos, was life flighted to Enloe Medical Center with major injuries.
"[Bainbridge] said she was driving around 65 miles per hour and out of nowhere, there was a vehicle in her lane," Officer Lambert explained. "She did everything that she could to try to avoid the collision, it just was unavoidable."
Officer Lambert said Logan suffered minor injuries, but her fiance, Herrmann, in the passenger seat was killed on impact. The CHP said they were still working on getting Logan's statement as to why she crossed into oncoming traffic.
"Due to the severity of the incident with the passing of her fiance, I believe we're going to give that just a little bit of time and then we will get her side of the story," Officer Lambert said.
Though drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in this collision, Officer Lambert used this death to point out the importance of being attentive and sober while driving.
"It's unfortunate, again. We just came out of a Maximum Enforcement Period which started [December] 29 through the first of the year," Officer Lambert explained. "During that three day period, over 936 DUI arrests were made and we had 23 people lose their life, and that's just in the CHP's jurisdiction. That comes after the passing of our officer out of Hayward on Christmas Eve so, we don't know what it's going to take."
He reiterated that even with new laws, no one should get behind the wheel under the influence of marijuana, alcohol or prescription medication.
After investigating the crash for over four hours, the CHP reopened Highway 99 at 11 a.m.