A pickup went off Highway 3 at Covington Mill last night and struck a tree, killing the driver and injuring four passengers, the California Highway Patrol said.

The crash south of Guy Covington Drive was reported Friday, Sept. 6, at approximately 8 p.m.  It was determined that the driver, Justin Seaman, 20, of Eagle Point, Ore., had been driving the Ford F-250 at an accelerated speed going into a curve in the roadway, the CHP said.

Due to the truck’s speed, Seaman was unable to negotiate the curve and the truck ran off the road, striking a tree on the shoulder.

Seaman succumbed to his injuries at the scene. Four passengers were airlifted to the hospital with moderate to major injuries. The highway was closed for the duration of the extrication and was reopened at approximately 2:05 a.m.

Passengers taken to Mercy Medical Center with major injuries were William Hancock, 19, of Eureka, and Otoniel Moreno, 19, of Arcata.

Treyvn Mullins, 20, of Eureka, and Owen Fite, 18, of Eureka, were reported to have moderate injuries.

The CHP said alcohol appears to have been a factor in this crash. Any witnesses are asked to call the Trinity River Area CHP office at 623-3832.

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