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Woman hurt in CHP collision on Hwy. 12 improves

Cynthia Dempsey, 44, suffered serious head injuries Saturday evening when CHP Officer Blair Hardcastle swerved on Highway 12 to avoid hitting motorcyclist Justin Oliver, 26, of Santa Rosa, who had entered the freeway ahead of him, according to the CHP.

When the tires of Hardcastle?s cruiser hit the dirt center divider, the car spun out of control toward the right, across all three lanes of traffic. It then collided with a guardrail and bridge rail along the north edge of Highway 12, the CHP said.

The patrol car rotated back into traffic and struck Dempsey?s 2001 Chevy 1500 pickup, sending it into the rail, too. Her truck overturned and stopped across two lanes of traffic.

CHP Highway Crash


Hardcastle, 25, of Rohnert Park and his Explorer student passenger, Erik Epting, 19, of Windsor weren?t seriously injured.

Oliver, the motorcyclist, wasn?t hurt.

No one was cited in the crash.

Dempsey was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in critical condition Saturday night. Sunday, a hospital spokeswoman said she had improved to serious condition.

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