Alcohol or drugs and possibly excess speed were factors in a fatal Highway 101 crash Tuesday night in Mendocino County, according to the CHP.

A Laytonville man died about 10:30 p.m. when his 2004 BMW ran off the highway just north of the Covelo turnoff, CHP Officer Jason Taylor said Wednesday.

The passenger, Ashely Sherman, suffered major injuries and was taken by ambulance to Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits. Sherman’s age and city of residence were not released.

The two were northbound, heading into Laytonville when the driver lost control on a curve, ran off the roadway and struck a tree, Taylor said.

“Alcohol or drugs do appear to be a factor,” Taylor said. The investigation includes whether speed was involved.

The man’s name wasn’t released pending notification of his family.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or On Twitter@rossmannreport.