On December 13, 2008, at an unknown time, Ryan Runnels, a 27 year old from Sacramento was driving a 2000 white BMW 328 on southbound SR-51 north of Watt Avenue at a high rate of speed. For undetermined reasons, Runnels allowed his vehicle to drift to the right off the roadway where it paralleled the freeway until it struck an oak tree just north of Arcade Creek. The impact caused the BMW to split in half and Runnels sustained fatal injuries at the scene. Runnels was wearing his seatbelt and was a sole occupant. It is unknown if alcohol and/or drugs is a contributing factor to this collision pending a toxicology report.
There are no witnesses to this collision. A passerby noticed the BMW at approximately 10:00 a.m. and called it in. It is believed the collision occurred during the hours of darkness in the early morning hours of Dec. 13, 2008. Anyone with information regarding this collision is urged to call the CHP North Sacramento Area office at (916) 338-6710.