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Pedestrian Killed by Hit-and-Run Vehicle in Humboldt County

Hit & Run Accident, Piercy, CA

 28-Year-Old Pedestrian, Dakota Stafslien, is Killed on Northbound US 101

Piercy, CA – In the quiet hours of the early morning, a catastrophic event unfolded on a stretch of US 101 near Piercy, California, claiming the life of 28-year-old Dakota Stafslien. This devastating incident serves as a stark reminder of the sudden tragedies that can occur on our roadways. As we delve into the details and legal repercussions of this fatal hit-and-run, it becomes imperative to understand how such incidents impact lives and communities, highlighting the critical role of legal expertise in navigating the aftermath.

The Incident

On May 4, 2024, at approximately 2:45 AM, a distressing accident occurred on the northbound lanes of US 101 near Piercy, in Humboldt County, California. Dakota Stafslien, a 28-year-old resident of the nearby Garberville/Redway area, was tragically struck by an unidentified vehicle. Initial reports indicate that Dakota was lying in the roadway at the time of the accident, which led to immediate fatal injuries.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the driver involved in the collision did not stop to render aid or contact emergency services, thereby classifying this incident as a hit-and-run. The absence of the driver at the scene added a layer of complexity to the initial investigation, prompting authorities to issue an appeal for witnesses who might provide additional details or leads. The CHP has emphasized the critical need for any information that could assist in tracking down the responsible party.

The impact of this incident reverberates beyond the immediate loss of life, as the local community and Dakota’s family seek justice and closure. The CHP has been actively gathering evidence and encourages anyone with information to come forward. The urgency of this appeal highlights the ongoing challenges law enforcement faces in resolving hit-and-run cases, where the perpetrator fails to take responsibility for their actions.

Legal Implications 

The legal ramifications of hit-and-run incidents are severe and carry significant penalties, particularly when they result in fatalities. In California, fleeing the scene of an accident without providing assistance or notifying authorities is a criminal offense that can lead to felony charges. For the family of Dakota Stafslien, seeking justice involves navigating complex legal channels that may involve both criminal and civil actions against the perpetrator, once identified.

Statistically, hit-and-run accidents have shown a distressing upward trend. According to a report by ValuePenguin, there were 2,783 fatal hit-and-run crashes in 2021, marking an 89.4% increase from 2012. This increase highlights a growing societal issue that demands more stringent enforcement and public awareness initiatives. Locally, Humboldt County reported 48 fatalities and injuries from hit-and-runs in the same year, underscoring the regional impact of this national problem.

For victims and their families, understanding the legal implications and available avenues for recourse is crucial. Wrongful death lawyers play a pivotal role in such cases, providing guidance through the intricacies of legal claims and insurance settlements. They ensure that the victim’s rights are upheld and that families receive the compensation necessary to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs, which is essential for their recovery and financial stability.

The tragic loss of Dakota Stafslien in a hit-and-run on US 101 is a somber reminder of the unpredictable nature of road safety and the crucial need for expert legal representation in such cases. Scranton Law Firm, with over 50 years of experience and more than $1 billion recovered for clients, stands as a beacon of hope for those affected by similar tragedies. Our firm specializes in navigating the complexities of personal injury cases, ensuring that justice is served and that families receive the support they need during these challenging times.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a hit-and-run, it is imperative to seek legal assistance immediately. A skilled personal injury attorney can provide the necessary guidance and representation to secure the best possible outcome. Our team at Scranton Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for your rights and obtaining the compensation you deserve. We understand the pain and disruption such incidents cause and are committed to helping you through every step of the legal process.

Do not face this difficult time alone. Contact Scranton Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. Let us help you find the way forward, ensuring that the person responsible is held accountable and that you receive the closure and financial support necessary for recovery. Remember, your right to compensation is vital for your future stability, and our expertise is your advantage in this critical time.


  1. What should I do immediately after a hit-and-run accident? Immediately after a hit-and-run, ensure your safety and call 911. Document everything about the scene if possible, such as taking photos, noting the time and location, and gathering witness statements. These details are crucial for the police report and any subsequent legal action.

  2. How can a personal injury lawyer help me if I’m a victim of a hit-and-run? A personal injury lawyer can help navigate the complexities of your case, including dealing with insurance companies, filing claims for damages, and, if necessary, representing you in court. Their expertise ensures that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses.

  3. What are the penalties for a hit-and-run driver once caught? In California, penalties for a hit-and-run offense can range from heavy fines to imprisonment, especially when the incident results in injury or death. The severity of the penalties reflects the seriousness of the driver’s failure to take responsibility.

  4. Can I claim compensation if the hit-and-run driver isn’t found? Yes, you may still be eligible for compensation through your own insurance policy under uninsured motorist coverage. It’s important to have a personal injury lawyer review your insurance policy to ensure you receive all benefits you’re entitled to.

  5. What is the statute of limitations for filing a claim after a hit-and-run in California? In California, you generally have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, it’s advisable to begin the legal process as soon as possible to ensure the best outcome for your case.


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Don’t navigate the aftermath of a hit & run accident alone. Let the Scranton Law Firm stand by your side. With over 50 years of experience as personal injury lawyers, we’ve helped thousands recover from their losses. If you or a loved one are affected by a Humboldt County hit & run accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Secure your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us now for a free consultation – The Scranton Law Firm, your trusted ally in these challenging times. Call 800-707-0707 now.