Two sisters from Rohnert Park died tragically Wednesday morning after their mother’s car slid down an embankment in Petaluma.
The sisters – Delilah Gonzalez, 9, and Sayra Gonzalez, 7, were trapped in their mother’s car after it ran off Petaluma Boulevard, flipped and sank upside down under the surface of the Petaluma River. Their 26-year-old mother escaped the vehicle.
The accident occurred at around 8 a.m. north of Gossage Avenue. According to the California Highway Patrol, several people, including Petaluma Police Dept. officers, firefighters from the Rancho Adobe Fire District and Petaluma firefighters, went into the water hoping to reach the girls.
According to the CHP, the mother and two daughters were heading toward their school in Rohnert Park after the mother had dropped off a friend in Petaluma.
The CHP said the mother had overcorrected after the car drifted left into the median from the fast lane. The car, a white Chevy Impala LS, then shot across the street and down the 20-foot embankment. The car crashed through heavy brush and trees before reaching the narrow stretch of the river running along the street. The car quickly sank in 6 feet of water and was fully submerged.
A man driving behind the family witnessed the crash, pulled over and ran down the embankment, where he saw the mother standing on the car. The man was unsuccessful in trying to reach the two girls, according to the CHP.
The mother, who has not been identified, remained at the scene as family members arrived. She later was taken to Petaluma Valley Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.