|Passenger dies in RP car crash
Driver jailed for felony hit-and-run, vehicular manslaughter
An unidentified man died on Friday night from injuries suffered in a single-car crash on Commerce Boulevard in Rohnert Park.
According to a Rohnert Park Dept. of Public Safety report, at approximately 8 p.m., a male driver was traveling northbound on Commerce Boulevard between Alison and Arlen drives when he lost control of his vehicle and slammed broadside into a tree, killing the adult passenger.
The deceased is believed to be in his 40s, but RPDPS will not release his name until a positive identification can be made and his next of kin is notified. The driver was identified as 23-year-old Rafael Prieto-Gonzalez, of Santa Rosa.
Two witnesses who reportedly saw the crash said the driver was screaming for help after the collision. As the witnesses tried to assist, according to the report, Prieto-Gonzales was able to flee from the vehicle and hide in a nearby neighborhood.
RPDPS officers then quickly set a perimeter and began searching the area. Eventually, they found a male who appeared to be the driver and had injuries consistent with being in a collision.
Prieto-Gonzalez was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs at the time of the crash.
Prieto-Gonzalez was transported to a local hospital for a medical clearance, and he subsequently was booked into Sonoma County Jail on charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony hit-and-run and violation of probation.
This case remains under investigation by the RPDPS' Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT). Anyone with additional information is encouraged to call Officer Jerrod Marshall at (707) 584-2600.