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CHP urges caution on Sonoma County's rain-slick roads

A four-car crash on rain-slick Highway 101 started with one driver losing control and three others then crashing around her, a further example of drivers needing to be extra careful in wet traveling conditions, reported CHP officials.

Numerous crashes plagued the North Bay with Monday's rain storm, including this Willits area crash. CHP officials Tuesday warned of repeat conditions with Wednesday's incoming storm.

Slow down and leave early were two repeated warnings issued by the CHP from multiple counties.

The next storm was expected to arrive in the Santa Rosa area at about 10 p.m. Tuesday and leave around Thursday morning.

A big one coming from the Gulf of Alaska, it's bringing a foot of snow to the Sierra, up to two inches of rain in North Bay hills and more than an inch in the valleys, according to the National Weather Service.

CHP officers in Sonoma County Monday responded to more than 30 crashes, none involving major injuries.

In the four-car crash, driver Hilda Noriega, 34, of Ukiah was headed south Monday afternoon when she lost control and flipped her 2000 Lincoln towncar.

It stopped on its hood in the northbound slow lane. Driver John Mello, 59, of Woodland heading north in a tractor trailer rig drove around the flipped car to avoid it. But he then found an out-of-control pickup headed toward him.

Stacey McDorman's southbound 1996 Toyota pickup hit Mello's rig.

Meanwhile driver Hugo Cruz, 68, of Laytonville was headed south in a 2003 Hummer. He tried to stop to avoid the crash in front of him, but he lost control and overturned.


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