A man died early Sunday morning on Highway 101 near the Rohnert Park Expressway after he got out of his car, a pickup truck hit it and then a separate truck struck him, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The collisions, which left four others with minor injuries, occurred around 4 a.m. on the morning of Aug. 8.
Officers believe a man was traveling northbound on 101 in a Nissan when the car stopped in the middle lane for unknown reasons.
“We don't know why he stopped. Whether it was voluntary on his part, or we're also looking at, we have no idea of his sobriety level at the time and are looking into that as well. Or it could have been mechanically; maybe he could have run out of gas, maybe something broke down. But he was stopped in the middle lane. And standing in front of the car,” said CHP Officer David de Rutte.
Rick Barretta, 41, was driving his Ford F250 northbound on the freeway when he collided with the back of the stopped Nissan, lunging it forward and striking the driver.
The Nissan’s driver landed in the roadway. He was then struck by another pickup, a Ford F150 driven by Jorge Mendoza-Suarez, 26, traveling northbound on the freeway.
When Santa Rosa CHP and medical personnel responded to the crash at 4:10 a.m., they found the Nissan’s driver deceased in the roadway.
Barretta and his three passengers were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital to treat minor injuries.
The deceased driver has not yet been identified.
CHP advises anyone who are experiencing car trouble or need to stop their vehicle on freeways to pull off to the right, according to de Rutte.
CHP is still investigating who, if anyone, is at fault, de Rutte said.
Santa Rosa CHP is asking anyone with information regarding the crash to call 707-588-1400.