Mendocino Resident Fatally Injured During Highway 1 Crash

Mendocino Resident Suffers Fatal Trauma During Highway 1 Crash

On Wednesday, February 24, 2021, a Mendocino resident was fatally injured after being involved in a car accident in Sonoma County. The decedent was identified by Sonoma County authorities two days later as Herbert Gorka, a 78-year-old man with residences in both Mendocino County and Carson City, Nevada. Gorka was the only individual involved in the accident, and California Highway Patrol (CHP) is actively investigating the incident.

Crash Information

According to CHP traffic police, the accident occurred at an unknown time on State Route 1 near the small community of Jenner in northern Sonoma County. Officers were first made aware of the accident after a passerby reported an overturned vehicle off the side of the highway at approximately 4:00 p.m.

After conducting preliminary investigations, CHP stated that they believe Gorka was driving his Volkswagen Golf southbound on the highway when his vehicle drifted to the right and eventually traveled off-road. After exiting the highway, the Golf overturned and rolled down an embankment, coming to a stop on its roof.

According to reports, when responders hiked down to the wrecked vehicle, they discovered Gorka had sustained deadly injuries during the collision. Tragically, he was pronounced deceased on-site.


As police continue to conduct their accident investigation, CHP has urged any potential accident witnesses or people with relevant information to get in touch. Those looking to aid with the investigation of this accident should call (707) 558-1400.

In many cases, accidents like this one aren’t the driver’s fault. For instance, a defective car part could have made it impossible for the driver to control their vehicle, or a major roadway hazard could have forced them to swerve dangerously. In these situations, entities such as auto manufacturers or government bodies may share financial responsibility for the collision.

Rollover Accidents and Liability

During rollover accidents, there is often a massive amount of force placed on the roof of the car. When this happens, the roof may collapse inward, possibly crushing occupants and causing major injuries. The companies that produce passenger vehicles are expected to guarantee that their products are reasonably safe and, in the case of roof crush injuries, may be considered negligent and held liable for damages.

However, in order to hold these companies responsible, your attorney has to be able to prove that the car had a weak or poorly designed roof. For this reason, it is important to keep the wrecked vehicle so that your lawyer can use it as evidence for your case.

Finding a Great Lawyer

Wrongful death cases can make a critical difference in people’s lives and it’s important to have help from a lawyer who you know has the right experience, skills, and resources to ensure your family receives fair compensation. For a quick explanation on how to find a great Ukiah wrongful death lawyer, watch this video:


Other Blogs by Ed Smith, Ukiah Wrongful Death Lawyer

Ukiah Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Ukiah wrongful death lawyer. After losing someone you love during a car accident, it is important to seek professional help. To get free, friendly advice about your case, please reach out to us at either (800) 404-5400 or (707) 564-1900.

To learn about our 38-year history of successful legal work in Ukiah and nearby areas, see our settlements and verdicts and read the many client reviews we’ve obtained at:

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