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CHP cruiser hits pickup; driver critically hurt

  • CHP involved in auto accident on Highway 12 Westbound east of Highway 101 Saturday evening.

A California Highway Patrol cruiser spun out of control and struck a pickup truck, critically injuring the driver, on Highway 12 just east of the Highway 101 interchange in Santa Rosa Saturday night, the CHP said.

Officer Blair Hardcastle took evasive action when a motorcycle merged onto the highway from the Maple Street onramp about 6:30 p.m., driving partly onto the dirt center strip, Sgt. Kevin Mensior said.

The motorcycle crossed over to the fast lane in front of Hardcastle, who was responding to a call with lights and siren activated, Mensior said.

CHP Highway Crash

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The cruiser spun across both lanes, struck the guardrail and hit the pickup, a 1991 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Cynthia Mae Dempsey, 44, of Santa Rosa. The pickup rolled over onto its roof, the CHP said.

Dempsey, who sustained a forehead cut and an injury to the right side of her head, was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, the CHP said.

Dempsey was in surgery late Saturday and was listed in critical condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Officers said they had not determined if Dempsey was wearing a seatbelt.

The motorcyclist, Justin Lee Oliver, 36, of Santa Rosa was not injured and his bike, a 2000 Kawasaki ZR-Z, was not struck.

Mensior said no citations or arrests had been made, and that the accident was still under investigation. A special accident investigation team was en route to the scene at 9 p.m.

Alcohol was not involved, Mensior said.


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