Redding hit and run that hospitalized two teens was “intentional act” – One victim undergoes brain surgery
UPDATED: Monday, Oct. 18, 9:09 a.m.
Originally Published: Saturday, Oct. 16, 9:22 a.m.
See Original Story below.
REDDING, Calif., — Authorities have released additional details regarding a hit and run that was determined to have been intentional and malicious and officials are continuing to search for the driver who struck and seriously injured two 18-year-old men late Friday evening, Oct. 15. Two suspects have been identified in the violent encounter, including one who was already interviewed, and officials have since said the major-injury collision “appeared to be an intentional act, an assault with a deadly weapon, and not a hit-and-run traffic collision.”
Witnesses and others familiar with the incident that left both teens hospitalized, including one who suffered major head trauma and has already undergone emergency brain surgery, have since told SCNS the incident began with a large group of young adults who became involved in an argument with two other people. Various and conflicting reports indicate the first group included as few as six, but as many as ten to fifteen, subjects. That argument quickly escalated and spiraled out of control after witnesses say the man who later struck the victims with his vehicle used racial slurs against one of the initial group, who happens to be bi-racial, during a physical confrontation that occurred just minutes before the vehicle-borne attack.
LEADING THE SCNS HEADLINES:
Based on witness and victim statements since uncovered by SCNS, as well as official accounts regarding the incident from Redding PD, SCNS has pieced together the following timeline and information about the major-injury hit and run attack.
Redding PD was dispatched to the the south entrance to the Sundial Bridge around 11:20 p.m. after receiving reports of a hit and run with two victims seriously injured and down in the parking lot.
911 callers reported the driver and passenger who struck the two men, since identified as Lawrence Williams, 40, and Sarah Stimson, 36, both of Weaverville, had already fled the scene in a blue minivan. Williams is reportedly a felon on parole for a 2017 armed robbery out of Trinity County.
Kaden Metheny, one of two 18-year-olds who were struck by a man Friday night, has already undergone emergency surgery to relieve “massive swelling” to his brain after what officials have since called an “intentional act”. The collision followed an argument that led to a physical confrontation between two groups at the Sundial Bridge in Redding.
When officers and other emergency personnel arrived at the scene they found two victims, Kaden Fritz, 18, of Redding, and Kaden Metheny, 18, of Shasta Lake City, down in the parking lot with serious injuries. An off-duty medic who reportedly witnessed the incident was already at the scene providing life-saving measures to Metheny who had sustained a major head injury and was in the middle of a seizure caused by his traumatic head wound.
Both Metheny and Fritz, who suffered a shattered ankle when he was struck, were rushed to an area hospital for treatment.
“My son suffered a massive hematoma in his brain and had to undergo immediate emergency brain surgery to relieve the swelling to his brain,” Fritz’s father, who requested to only be identified as Jed, has since explained to SCNS.
Both injured men remain hospitalized but are considered to be in stable condition, according to Jed and officials.
As the investigation unfolded, officers learned that the incident began when the large group, including Fritz and Metheny, “began to verbally antagonize Williams, who was underneath the bridge with Stimson,” Redding Police Corporal Aaron Hollemon said in a social media release about the incident late last night.
Jed went on to further explain, “Kaden (Metheny) and five other friends were walking across the Sundial Bridge when one of his friends joked about peeing over the bridge.”
“They did not know that Lawrence Williams and his girlfriend Sarah Peters (Stimson) were under the bridge drinking,” Jed continued.
“When Williams heard the kid joking about peeing off the bridge he immediately started cussing and saying he was going to come up and beat the kids up,” Jed described; saying that when the suspect began using racial slurs against one of the men the situation and confrontation began to escalate.
The verbal argument quickly became more dangerous and volatile; with beer cans, rocks, and other objects being thrown back and forth between the two groups.
“The verbal altercation escalated and a physical fight ensued on the bridge between Williams and the group, including Fritz and Metheny,” Corporal Hollemon explained; adding that the group reportedly “struck Williams in his head and kicked him while he was on the ground.”
Jed further explained that the physical fight involved three people from the first group who started fighting with Williams, while his girlfriend was trying to get in the middle and stop the brawl.
Although some of the facts and details provided by witnesses and those involved in the fight differ, what is known is that after the initial scuffle, Williams and Stimson fled to their blue minivan, with at least six of the first group following and taunting them from a distance of about 50 feet.
According to Hollemon, the larger group then stood in front of the minivan throwing rocks at it when Williams suddenly accelerated his vehicle in the direction of the group.
While Holleman has reported that the minivan struck both Fritz and Metheny as the vehicle was fleeing the area, Jed said that was not entirely accurate and said that when Williams tried to strike the group with his vehicle the first time he missed them, at which time he doubled back and made a second attempt at running the group down.
“With his foot to the floor, he tried to run the group of six over,” Jed explained. “Four of them jumped out of the way on the passenger side and my son and his friend jumped into the flower bed on the other side.”
“Williams then made a circle, and jumped the flower bed with his foot to the floor again,” he continued. “Kaden Fritz, my son’s friend, tried to jump out of the way and Williams ran his leg over and shattered it. My son Kaden was hit, flew up into the air, did a flip and hit the ground like a sack of rocks.”
“The impact knocked him smooth out and then he immediately began having a seizure,” the father described.
Redding PD has since said Williams was also injured during the physical altercation; however, they have admitted that they have not been able to locate or interview him or confirm his injuries.
Stimson was uninjured during the confrontation and later contacted department officials and provided a voluntary statement to officers.
Williams, on the other hand, remains unaccounted for and officials are continuing to search for him; however Holleman did not specify if he was wanted for arrest or just to be questioned.
No arrests have been made yet and Redding PD’s investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation or who knows William’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Redding Police Department’s Detective Division at (530) 225-4200. Callers can refer to incident file number 21R067964 and can remain anonymous.
Original Story: Redding teens struck by driver who fled – Suspect remains sought
REDDING, Calif., — Two teens were injured after they were struck by the driver of a minivan who then fled the scene late last night, Friday, Oct. 15. The hit and run collision happened near the Sundial Bridge and the driver was last seen fleeing westbound on Hwy 44. Initial air and ground searches for the man accused of leaving the scene proved fruitless, and officials are continuing to search for the vehicle and driver.
Official radio traffic at the time indicated both victims were hospitalized after the accident, with one initially listed as a trauma alert patient who reportedly lost consciousness after being struck.
LEADING THE SCNS HEADLINES:
Redding Police Department, along with California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire, and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the scene around 11:30 p.m. after receiving reports of the hit and run.
Flight radar shows the path flown by CHP’s H-14 while searching for a blue minivan that fled the scene after hitting two teens near the Sundial Bridge in Redding last night. FlightRadar24 image
Arriving officials found two victims in their late teens who were both transported to an area hospital with various injuries including cuts and abrasions, head and facial injuries, and a leg injury, described as a deformity of the ankle.
Witnesses reported seeing a man in a blue minivan, with a partial plate of 4KG, fleeing the scene. He was described as possibly being bald by at least one witness.
CHP Northern Division Air Operations responded to the area to assist in searching for the suspect from above and about twenty minutes into their search spotted a similar vehicle – which was soon stopped – but quickly determined to have not been involved in the hit and run.
Redding PD’s investigation is continuing and anyone with information regarding the collision is encouraged to contact the department at (530) 225-4500. Callers can remain anonymous.
Contact the writer: [email protected]
Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.