Naked man causes chaos on Hwy. 101 near Cloverdale
Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 11:06 p.m.
A suicidal San Luis Obispo man crashed his SUV, stripped off his clothes and jumped in front of traffic on Highway 101 north of Cloverdale on Wednesday evening before he was wrestled to the ground by firefighters.
The highway chaos began around 6:30 p.m., when Christopher Wayne Karruthers, 40, drove his 2006 Jeep Wrangler without its headlights on southbound into oncoming northbound traffic about a mile north of the Sonoma County line, the CHP said.
He clipped one car, crossed over the highway and crashed 70 feet down an embankment. Then he climbed back up to the highway, stripped naked and started jumping in front of cars in an apparent suicide attempt, CHP Sgt. Braden Moffett said.
Several cars were able to avoid him, but three could not, Moffett said.
“He dove right onto the windshield of one,” Moffett said.
Passers-by tried to help or restrain the man, but he assaulted them.
A Cloverdale fire captain tackled him to the ground, and it took five others to hold the man down, fire engineer Peter Avansino said.
“He was very combative,” Avansino said.
The highway was closed for about an hour while crews dealt with the situation. The man was flown by helicopter to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for treatment, Moffett said.
Decisions about criminal charges will be made after a psychiatric evaluation, Moffett said.
The man's injuries were not considered life-threatening, he said. The highway was reopened around 7:30 p.m.
You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@
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