Roger Rodoni killed in car crash–with updates

Second District Supervisor Roger Rodoni was killed Thursday afternoon in a vehicle collision just north of Rio Dell.

According to witnesses at the scene, Roger was driving north on Highway 101, on his way to a fundraiser at the Veterans Hall in Fortuna, when a southbound vehicle crossed over the center divider and struck Roger’s truck head-on.

The Times-Standard identified the wrong-way driver as 58-year-old Miranda resident Diane Johnson, who sustained minor injuries in the crash.

Roger was traveling alone, but his wife, Johanna, was following him in a second vehicle and is believed to have witnessed the accident. She was reportedly talking to him by cell phone when the collision occurred.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Roger’s body was taken to Eureka, with Johanna following in a Sheriff’s Office vehicle.

Within hours of the accident, Second District challengers Estelle Fennell and Clif Clendenen both announced a temporary suspension of campaign activities.

In a note posted on her website, Estelle called Roger’s death “a great tragedy for us all.”

The Times-Standard has stories here and here. The Eureka Reporter story is here.

Updates: The Eureka Reporter added late Friday morning that Johanna was not following Roger but was actually driving the other direction to their home so she could change clothes before the fundraiser in Fortuna.

Humboldt County Coroner Frank Jager said Roger died from blunt-force head injuries sustained when his truck overturned and ran off an embankment on the east side of the highway.

Another witness to the accident told the Humboldt Mirror that Roger’s truck was struck from the side, not the front, causing it to flip and roll off the highway.

Congressman Mike Thompson headed up what will undoubtedly be a long line of elected officials to weigh in on Roger’s importance to the county. His brief statement is posted here.


59 Responses

  1. I may be a cynical fuck, but I damn sure liked Rodoni. That’s a loss for this county, a serious loss.

  2. This is a real tragedy for those of us who knew and liked Roger, and for the people he so ablely represented in the 2nd district of Humboldt County. Freedom has lost an avid supporter. We can only hope that his wife is ok, and watch for more details with a feeling of dread. My sympathy to his family.

  3. God damnit. God fucking damnit. Doesn’t matter how you felt about his politics. Roger was such an important part of this community, and he will be missed. It’s just horrible that his wife witnessed all of this. Horrible. My thoughts too are with his family.

  4. Whaever disagreements I had with his politics, the man was a charmer. I’m sorry to hear that he was in that truly terrible accident I saw this evening. My heart aches for his wife.

  5. This is horribly tragic and sad. Poor Johanna! My prayers to all their family and friends. It is a very sad day.

  6. Hopefully he didn’t suffer and it’s really tragic that his wife had to witness her husband’s death. But Supervisor Rodoni was a deeply corrupt and nasty man. He was Hurwitz’s rent boy.

    I realize that there’s no such thing as an ugly baby or an unholy corpse, but come on, people, did you ever watch him at a supervisors’ meeting? Vindictive and petty are some of the nicer things you could say about Supervisor Rodoni.

    When the Rotary and other folks collected tons of garbage from the Eel River bar, bagged it up and got it ready to be collected. And when the County then came after the people who had picked up the garbage and forced them to pay thousands of dollars of their own money in dump fees. And when they complained to Supervisor Rodoni.

    His response to these Rotarians was, in effect, “that’s what you get for being so tolerant of the homeless.”

    This from a man who got bottom basement rent on his “ranch” from Hurwitz’s Maxxam subdidiary.

  7. I think I speak for much of Humboldt county

    FUCK YOU kaleidescope asshole

  8. Fuck you with a rake, you piece of shit Kaleidescope. At best, you have no fucking sense of timing. At worst, you have no conscience.

  9. We are all neighbors everyone. You are my neighbor. I am your neigbor. Roger was our neighbor. I may not have agreed with him all the time, but other times I agree with him wholeheartedly. He was a good person. This is tragic.

  10. Humbug, please post whatever information is available on “kaleidescope”. This person is a worthless piece of shit and to the extent we can determine who it is there should be retribution. I am a green leftist and am appalled by that disgusting comment. I may not always have agreed with Roger but that kind of callous disrespect is deserving of our collective condemnation.

  11. Over some cash, some motherfucking cash, this fumbledick decides it’s A-O-fucking-K to disparage a respected member of our community mere hours following his untimely death.

    Over some motherfucking cash.

  12. Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there… I do not sleep.
    I am the thousand winds that blow…
    I am the diamond glints on snow…
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain…
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you waken in the morning’s hush,
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of gentle birds in circling flight…
    I am the soft star that shines at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry—
    I am not there… I did not die…

    Old Irish Blessing

  13. my prayers go to Rogers family.

  14. Ceadh mille fail’te.

  15. Beautiful, turtle. I read it through tears.

  16. This is such a shock.

  17. kaleidescope said:
    April 24, 2008 at 8:30 pm ——

    I am not going to post the really ugly things he/she said. Perhaps he/she is a 5150 patient that needs medical attention. These words were viscious – this is a truly sick person in our midst. This is not the time for this!

    I believe this post should be deleted! I think out little blue bug has more tact than to leave that post up. This was not funny but very sick.

    I was more than shocked to hear the news and it is still hard to believe he is gone.

    Roger voted how he wanted to and at times voted against the other Supes. I remember when “binge drinking” came up with a cost of $275,000 for ads on TV that he was the only Supe that voted “no” and stated that binge drinking had been around since he was in high school and agreed that a TV ad would not be seen by any binge drinker. I had to laugh over that one.

    God bless him for his honest votes, his humor and being able to take the hits re Palco. He was one tough cowboy and his boots won’t be replaced soon! God be with you RR. You will be in my thoughts for a long time. I wish your family peace. They know what you stood for and can be proud. Bless you Roger for bringing honesty to the BOS that your opponents probably won’t bring.!

    I still can’t believe this is true and sit here trying to cope with the reality.

  18. I have had many tears, too, Rose! My daughter is old friends with Johanna and Roger’s grandson. I am aquainted with Roger’s daughter, Ronan, a former neighbor of mine. Oh I have had my disagreements with him, but most times I agreed with him.

  19. We considered it, 8:44–in one of those bright white flashes of anger–but it wouldn’t be right. It’s not who we are. We don’t out people who come here to join the conversation. We could. We know who he is. It’s a name some of you would recognize. But an eye for an eye and pretty soon we’re all blind and that sort of thing. We can let him continue showcasing his disregard for humanity, or we can remove the comment. You guys decide. One way or the other, we don’t think we should allow his indecency to rub off on us.

    Thank you to the rest of you for your respectful and honest thoughts.

  20. I say post his name.

  21. So, he was talking to Johanna on his cell when it happened. Hope this wasn’t the cause for him dying. Not paying attention to what was coming at him.

  22. Let it be.

  23. 9:21, when a car is speeding toward you on the wrong effing side of the freeway, I don’t think a frigging cell phone is going to make much difference.

  24. As to k’scope, bug

    Leave it there.

    That small minded whip of ignorance chafes, but reminds us of why people like Roger are so well respected….regardless of their views.

    Roger was dedicated, informed and resolute in his beliefs. He brought a sense of humor to the table and knew his stuff. If you disagreed with him, he thrived on the discourse.

    K’scope corrupts the dialogue and I think that we need to be reminded that it was damn fools like K who made Roger seem so eloquent and rational. He probably wouldn’t like that I said that. He was an honest man. Most of us respect him for that. Maybe that’s enough of an epitaph.

    I’m still reeling with this but if you know who K’scope is, you probably know who I am. If so, a private email would be helpful. I’d like to respond in my own way. Nothing hurtful. Just the ability to call a turd…..a turd.

    Rest easy Roger. I miss you already you cranky, brilliant, hilarious bastard.

  25. Roger Rodoni was a good listener and a fair person when it came to Manila residents in opposition to redevelopment. Roger Rodoni was also a consistent and sensible and a supporter of the Constitution in his stand against Camp.

    Although I did not always agree with him, I appreciated him being on the board of supervisors.

  26. Everything that can be said, has already been said. I say let the comment stand, and if you feel like giving out a name, you know my email address, and you know I’ll treat that person right.

  27. you know what… i may only be 17 but when i heard about another death in our area, i prayed into it and God put in my heart this scripture, and God says in Ecclesiastes 7,

    1 “A good name is better than fine perfume,
    and the day of death better than the day of birth.

    2 It is better to go to a house of mourning
    than to go to a house of feasting,
    for death is the destiny of every man;
    the living should take this to heart.

    3 Sorrow is better than laughter,
    because a sad face is good for the heart.

    4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
    but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure.

    5 It is better to heed a wise man’s rebuke
    than to listen to the song of fools.

    6 Like the crackling of thorns under the pot,
    so is the laughter of fools.
    This too is meaningless.

    7 Extortion turns a wise man into a fool,
    and a bribe corrupts the heart.

    8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning,
    and patience is better than pride.

    9 Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit,
    for anger resides in the lap of fools.

    10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?”
    For it is not wise to ask such questions.

    11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing
    and benefits those who see the sun.

    12 Wisdom is a shelter
    as money is a shelter,
    but the advantage of knowledge is this:
    that wisdom preserves the life of its possessor.

    13 Consider what God has done:
    Who can straighten
    what he has made crooked?

    14 When times are good, be happy;
    but when times are bad, consider:
    God has made the one
    as well as the other.
    Therefore, a man cannot discover
    anything about his future.

    15 In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:
    a righteous man perishing in his righteousness,
    and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.

    16 Do not be overrighteous,
    neither be overwise—
    why destroy yourself?

    17 Do not be overwicked,
    and do not be a fool—
    why die before your time?

    18 It is good to grasp the one
    and not let go of the other.
    The man who fears God will avoid all extremes . [a]

    19 Wisdom makes one wise man more powerful
    than ten rulers in a city.

    20 There is not a righteous man on earth
    who does what is right and never sins.

    21 Do not pay attention to every word people say,
    or you may hear your servant cursing you-

    22 for you know in your heart
    that many times you yourself have cursed others.

    23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said,
    “I am determined to be wise”—
    but this was beyond me.

    24 Whatever wisdom may be,
    it is far off and most profound—
    who can discover it?

    25 So I turned my mind to understand,
    to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things
    and to understand the stupidity of wickedness
    and the madness of folly.

    26 I find more bitter than death
    the woman who is a snare,
    whose heart is a trap
    and whose hands are chains.
    The man who pleases God will escape her,
    but the sinner she will ensnare.

    27 “Look,” says the Teacher, [b] “this is what I have discovered:
    “Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things-

    28 while I was still searching
    but not finding—
    I found one upright man among a thousand,
    but not one upright woman among them all.

    29 This only have I found:
    God made mankind upright,
    but men have gone in search of many schemes.”

  28. dog running at large said:
    April 24, 2008 at 9:52 pm
    “K’scope corrupts the dialogue and I think that we need to be reminded that it was damn fools like K who made Roger seem so eloquent and rational. He probably wouldn’t like that I said that. He was an honest man. Most of us respect him for that. Maybe that’s enough of an epitaph.

    I’m still reeling with this but if you know who K’scope is, you probably know who I am.”

    Then you probably know who I am too. I thought K’scope was very disrespectfull and I didn’t like the post at all and said so earlier and thought it should be deleted under the circumstances. Mentally ill people post all the time and that is exactly what I believe K’scope is as he/she wouldn’t have posted this at this time of grief for a lot of us.

    This is a tragedy for Humboldt County and the BOS as they lost one of their honest speakers. My heart goes out to Johanna if she saw the accident as this will never be forgotten by her. It is devistating enough to lose a husband and I can’t even venture how devistating it would be to watch it happen and be able to do nothing about it. We do not stand in her shoes at this terrible time but she needs a lot of support from the community and not just his district!

    TO: K’scope: Put away your vitreol and get over this. A lot of us don’t like what you said. Maybe you can check into Semper Virens tonight if theu will take the likes of you.

  29. Relax, friends. We’re not psychic. The dumbfuck included his e-mail address, and we were able to confirm it through his IP address. The rest of you are in the clear.

  30. kalidoscope,tonight I drink to much and shed a tear for my lost friend,his grieving family,a saddened community. Tonight I give no thought to you but tomorrow I will bitch slap your sorry ass.

  31. An alternative 10:20 would be to hug your kids tonight….just a little bit closer than usual.

  32. I’ve heard that kaleidoscopic rant before. Where? That guy has said that somewhere else. A Board meeting? Oughtta be easy to track down. Something to do with waterways…

  33. “Only cowards insult dying majesty.” -Aesop

  34. kaleidescope: cut it out and get some class.

    RIP Roger. You will be missed by allies and opponents alike.

  35. # anonymous said:
    April 24, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    “Only cowards insult dying majesty.” -Aesop

    This was brilliant.

  36. 8:55 You are a low class pig.

  37. Sorry 8:55 I meant 8:30

  38. Looks like it was an HSU professor who crossed over the line. No drugs or alcohol.

  39. Eric posted on his blog that the election will go on since there were 2 other candidates but . . .

    Elections laws allow for a write in candidate. But to do this you have to be “qualified” which means that you must go into the Elections Department (they won’t mail it) and get a Nominating form, collect 20 signatures and file it. That qualifies that person to be a qualified write in candidate and votes written in for that candidate would be counted. This has to be done by May 20 but should be done immediately as the absentee ballots are nearly ready to be sent out.

  40. Kaleidescope, your parents must be so proud of you, my what a fine person you turned out to be….Suggestion, if you wish to speak from your asshole (like you did here) go to ” The Humboldt Herald”. There sir you will fine like company….R.I.P.R.R.

  41. Bravo Brian – bravo!

  42. It’s hard not to think about the political ramifications of Roger’s death, but maybe this is a time to remember Roger the man, husband, father, brother and friend. Politics right now is secondary.

  43. I agree. There’ll be plenty of time for politics.

  44. We know who you are kaleidescope. Soon everyone will know. Many have come to the same conclusion. When the time is right we will give you a special box of tampons you dripping orifice. We’ll let you explain to your girl friend and all that are around you. We will make sure it’s in PUBLIC,you slim ball.

  45. ”He was one of a kind,” Fourth District Supervisor Bonnie Neely said, struggling to steady her voice. “He will never be forgotten. He was a real straight shooter.”

    Care to take this one out of context, Mirror?

  46. No. Why would we?

  47. Bonnie was at Roger’s fundraiser last time around. Turning to the dark side doesn’t mean she didn’t care about Roger.

  48. Bonnie and John’s crocodile tears at the BOS meeting this morning fucking disgust me – knowing they were meeting last night to craft a strategy to appoint Cliff Clendenden, hours before Rogers body was cool. And that queen Bonnie was on the phone to to governor’s office before this mornings BOS meeting, lobbying for Clendenen.

    I thought I understood politics, but these three have achieved a new level of repugnancy!

  49. OK, slow down. The Governor, if I recall correctly, has the power to appoint a replacement, and that replacement would serve out the remaining term (Jan. 09), if and only if, the board deicdes to fill the vacant seat. The board can function with a quorum with four members, again, if memory serves me.

    Now, there is an election scheduled in June, one that Roger Rodoni could very well win. If he does, we are right back here, a duly elected official who cannot fulfill the duties of his office, in the case, self-evident.

    There is time for a write-in candidate, whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but in the end, if neither Clendenen nor Fennell win the election, an appointment by the Guv will be necessary.

    I add the caveat that if someone is more literate in election law than I, (the bar is set rather low here) and can refute my feeble attempt or explain more clearly the process, I hereby bow to their authority and await edification.

  50. HumboldtBlue,
    I think you are correct, I am not a student of law. However, my thought was not intended to speak to the process of the governors appointment. Rather, I wanted to expressed my exasperation with people who place political position above common decency.

    Let’s give the family time to grieve, they deserve at least that.

  51. If Bon Bon did this and good reports indicate she did,she is one sick puppy. If anyone out there supports her pushing Clif into this seat you should have one of Rogers spurs shoved up your ass.

  52. Are you trying to fuck with Heraldo? He he he.

  53. Out with the email address! Let’s string em

  54. No need for the rope. The shinning light of the truth will be punishment enough. So slim ball get your SP 50 out.

  55. My favorite Roger-ism
    ”It’s an attempt by a mid-level bureaucratic whore to bitch-slap me in public because they don’t like the way I voted.”
    (In today’s Times-Standard)

  56. Bonnie Neely (moderate Republican)may be lobbying for Clif, and some will lobby for Johanna (also a Republican), but I hope the guv will appoint a non-candidate interim.

    When Bonnie first went after her seat on the board it was because Danny Walsh resigned mid-term to take an appointment on the forestry board. Walsh and Neely tried to get Neely an interim appointment so she could run with the advantage of incumbency, but Gov. Deukmejian played it cool and appointed former Supervisor Sam Mitchell to fill the term while the public chose a new supervisor.

    Deukmejian was crafty, and in this case did the right thing. One option for Arnold: hold off for less than two months, wait for the election, then appoint the winner to fill the last several month’s of Roger’s term.

    Roger’s memorial will be Wednesday. Then, as he would want it, life–and the campaign–will go on.

  57. While at the board of sups code enforcement meeting I had the opportunity to witness Roger at his best. Roger came over and talked to a young man I know who had been on the street with a bad drug addiction problem up till 2 years ago. The young man has been clean and sober and working on a local dairy ranch. Roger asked him how things were going. The young man said great and he was just about to get his first drivers license. Roger told the young man he was proud of him and that his hard work was noticed by many. To keep up the good work and that he fully expected to see him as a future mover and shaker. He shook his hand gave him that sharp Roger look in the eyes and then he was gone.

  58. Bonnie and John’s crocodile tears at the BOS meeting this morning fucking disgust me – knowing they were meeting last night to craft a strategy to appoint Cliff Clendenden, hours before Rogers body was cool. And that queen Bonnie was on the phone to to governor’s office before this mornings BOS meeting, lobbying for Clendenen.

    I thought I understood politics, but these three have achieved a new level of repugnancy!

    At this point I’m willing to call this a deliberate lie. This poster has been making these allegations all over the local blogosphere, and has offered nothing in evidence. Hank Sims tried to track these rumors down and came up with nothing.

    I’m beginning to think this is a very crude but deliberate political game. Put something up or stop spreading rumors you can’t prove. Or at least have the decency to put your name to these allegations.

    I find it disgusting.

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