JCS Student David Pickart-Jain Killed In Eureka Car Collision
Kevin L. Hoover
EUREKA – A Jacoby Creek School eighth grader was killed Saturday night, March 9 in a vehicle vs. pedestrian accident in Eureka.
According to the Eureka Police Department, at 10:16 p.m. a report was recived of a collision at the intersection of Carson and J streets. Arriving officers located teenager David Pickart-Jain in the roadway. He had been hit by a passing vehicle.
Jain suffered life-threatening injuries, and Humboldt Bay Firefighters and City Ambulance personnel arrived shortly. Pickart-Jain was quickly transported to St. Joseph Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Due to the extent of his injuries, he was flown out of the area for a higher level of care shortly thereafter.
On the morning of Sunday, March 10, EPD was notified that Pickart-Jain had succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.
EPD said witnesses observed Pickart-Jain standing stationary in the intersection, in the southbound lane of J Street outside a crosswalk, and that he was looking down at his cellular phone when he was hit. There was no immediate indication of intoxication or impairment on the part of either the driver or the pedestrian.
Jacoby Creek School Superintendent/Principal Catherine Stone said Pickart-Jain was a “stellar” student, “He was genuinely friendly to everyone,” Stone said. “He was really liked by all the kids and teachers.”
Stone said the tragedy has had a “ripple effect” throughout the whole school. Pickart-Jain had served as a mentor or “buddy” to a kindergarten student, and another student he had mentored as a kindergartner is now a second grader.
Stone said Pickart-Jain was with other students, the group having attended a birthday party. Though EPD said Pickart-Jain was outside the crosswalk, Stone said the students observed him within the crosswalk area.
EPD’s report that Pickart-Jain was distracted by a cell phone may or may not be something that the school addresses with students, as it may not require further emphasis. “While it could be a teachable moment, it could not have escaped their notice,” Stone said. “We’re just trying to get through the grief.”
To help, a crisis team from the Humboldt County Office of Education was working with students at the school on Monday. A dozen or so personnel, including a school psychologist and grief counselors, were on hand to help the students through the loss.
“A really personal and horrific thing has happened, and it’s going to be with us forever,” Stone said.
Said an EPD press release: “The Eureka Police Department would like to remind the public that cell phone distraction is not confined to only motorists, but applies to everyone. Inattention appears to have played a major role in this horribly tragic collision that resulted in the loss of a very young life. This tragedy not only affects those close to the juvenile but the motorist as well. It also has affected those that responded to the scene and those that are investigating it.”
Any witnesses to the collision are asked to call Traffic Officers Greg Hill at (707) 441-4342 or Tim Jones at (707) 441-4109.