|Four-car crash leads to 3 injuries, 2 DUI arrests
A four-car chain-reaction crash on Highway 101 early Sunday morning, March 16, resulted in serious injuries and two arrests for suspicion of drunken driving.
A Santa Rosa woman, her 2-year-old young son and a passenger all suffered severe injuries. The mother, 39-year-old Bertha Alicia Vazquez, of Santa Rosa, was spotted by an off-duty Cotati police sergeant who reported seeing her go past him northbound on Highway 101 at speeds nearing 90 mph moments before the crash, which occurred at 3:38 a.m.
When she got near Todd Road, according to a California Highway Patrol report, her Volvo sedan made contact with a Honda Accord driven by Santa Rosa’s Gloria Noemi Aquino. The impact caused both Highway vehicles to spin out of control, with Aquino’s car stopping on the shoulder and Vazquez’s Volvo sideways across two lanes pointing west.
Aquino’s front bumper was torn off the car, but she was uninjured.
Vazquez got out of her Volvo and appeared to be walking around to the passenger side so she could retrieve her son. But the passenger, 25-year-old Gregorio Galvez got to her son quicker and got him out of the back seat of the car.
At that moment, a Toyota Corolla slammed into the Volvo in its path, according to the CHP, and the Volvo spun and struck Galvez, Vazquez and her son, Armani Paez. All three flew in different directions.
A witness reportedly retrieved Paez from the road, rushed to the shoulder and handed the child to bystanders until emergency crews arrived.
Then, a red Honda Civic hatchback driven by Lucien Albert Lippi, of Healdsburg, struck Vazquez, and the impact vaulted her into the windshield of the car.
According to the CHP, Lippi smelled of alcohol and was arrested for suspicion of drunken driving and causing injury. Lippi agreed to field sobriety tests. He was booked into Sonoma County Jail, and his bail was set at $100,000.
Vasquez and Galvez, a homeless man, suffered major injuries and were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Her son, who appeared to have lesser injuries than Vazquez and Galvez, was taken to Children’s Hospital in Oakland.
Vazquez was arrested for suspicion of drunken driving and released to medical staff.