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Citizens help police track hit-and-run suspect

Citizens who witnessed a hit-and-run accident Friday night at the Chetco River bridge were lauded by Brookings Police, who credited their actions in finding and arresting the suspect.

Police arrested Nicholas Loebs, 22, of Brookings, after a citizen followed his truck from the scene of the accident. Additional citizens called 911 to report a truck weaving “all over,” and the driver was possibly intoxicated. Police will ask the District Attorney’s office to charge Loebs with failing to perform the duties of a driver (hit-and-run), DUII and second degree assault. 

According to Brookings Police Sgt. Terry Murray, Loebs was driving his 1989 Toyota pickup southbound on Highway 101 when he rear-ended a 1998 Dodge Neon with three people inside at the intersection of North Bank Chetco River Road. He then left the scene and fled to a hotel at the north end of Brookings, Murray said.

Some witnesses called police, others stayed with the victims and another followed Loebs at a safe distance while communicating the man’s whereabouts to 911 dispatchers.

“They did well,” Murray said. “That’s how we basically caught this guy.”

Loebs had a passenger in his vehicle, and Murray said the investigation could result in more arrests or charges.

Two of the three passengers in the other vehicle were transported to Sutter Coast Hospital in Crescent City where they were treated and released. The other declined medical treatment.

McCourt said it is unknown at what speed Loebs was traveling.

“It had to have been pretty significant after looking at the damage to the victim’s vehicle,” he said. 

On Monday the continuing investigation revealed Loebs had in his truck items related to the burglary of a local business and other area thefts. 

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