Fatal Rohnert Park crash now resides in D.A.'s Office

Prosecutors are now reviewing the police investigation into the crash involving an 18-year-old driver who struck and killed a toddler and seriously injured her mother in a Rohnert Park crosswalk.

As the District Attorney's Office considers the case for possible charges, Ling Murray is re-learning how to move and control her arms, legs and feet at a Petaluma rehabilitation hospital, making small improvements each day.

Her family said they remain unsure what her recovery will entail and whether she will be able to walk again.

"Nobody has said for sure, but you've got to believe that's our hope," said her father-in-law, Al Andres of Hartley, Del. "They haven't told us she won't be able to walk."

The case centers on whether Kaitlyn Dunaway, a freshman at Sonoma State University, was using her cell phone at the time of the Dec. 1 crash that killed 2-year-old Calli Murray, Ling Murray's daughter. Dunaway initially admitted to officers that she'd been using the phone, at one point saying she was text messaging and at another point saying she'd received a phone call, according to an affidavit police filed to get a warrant for Dunaway's cell phone records.

Detectives completed their investigation into the collision late last week and passed the report to the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office, said Lt. Patrick Strouse with the Rohnert Park Public Safety Department.

Dunaway was driving south on Snyder Lane at about 5:30 p.m., well after dark, when she struck the Murrays, police said.

Murray and her daughter were walking hand-in-hand and were about 10 feet into the crossing at Medical Center Drive when they were hit, police said.

Strouse would not comment on the investigation team's findings and would not say if they are recommending any charges in the case.

"The DA's office will be reviewing it and they will make a determination," Strouse said. "In this particular case, that's information we're not releasing."

District Attorney staff said they had received the police report and were starting to review the files, Assistant District Attorney Christine Cook said.

Cook said she didn't know how long it would take them to determine what, if any charges to file against Dunaway.

"We'll give it a thorough review and make our determination," Cook said.

Murray's husband, Jeff Murray, has spent just about every night with her at the Petaluma rehabilitation center where she was moved just before the new year, said Andres, Jeff Murray's father. Her mother and sister spent most days with her, he said.

"She's just still grieving," Andres said. "When you lose your two, almost three-year-old daughter, that's devastating to a mother, and I don't know if you ever get over that."

Murray was taken to Petaluma Post-Acute Rehab on B Street just before the new year after about a month at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Andres said. She underwent more surgery two weeks ago and her family was making plans for the time when she'd be able to move home and continue out-patient rehabilitation, Andres said.

"I can't tell you she's going to recover 100 percent or 60 percent or what, and we really won't know for a year where she is," Andres said. "She's got a long way to go and it's not easy. It's a lot of work getting muscles back into shape."

Dunaway was enrolled in spring classes, university staff said.