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Date Released: 4/16/2004
Subject: Death Investigation
Contact: Brenda Gainey, PIO
Case No#: 200402465
Released By: Brenda Gainey

Location: Bridgeville

At about 11:30 yesterday morning the California Highway Patrol and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office responded to a single car traffic accident. The accident occurred on Kneeland Road, about three miles north of Highway 36 near Bridgeville. Upon their arrival, authorities discovered that both occupants of the car had sustained gunshot wounds. Both men were found outside the vehicle, which appeared to have rolled over several times. One occupant, Rickie Leo Wheeler, 49 of Eureka was flown to a Redding area hospital area in critical condition. The second occupant, Robert Eugene Elam, 43 of Fortuna, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy will be performed to determine the actual cause of death.
The incident is still under investigation and no other details are available for release at this time. Anyone with information about this case should call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251.