Petaluma police say a man badly injured in a Tuesday morning crash that closed Ely Boulevard South rear-ended a pickup before speeding off and colliding with an SUV a block away near Casa Grande High School.
The driver, Sonoma resident William Bodeau, 57, flipped his pickup end-over-end after striking the second vehicle, then slid to a stop, police said.
The debris field and distance indicated Bodeau had been traveling at "extremely high speeds," traffic Sgt. Ken Savano said. Police said neither alcohol nor drugs appeared to be factors.
Authorities said Bodeau was southbound in a white Toyota Tundra pickup when he came upon a blue Nissan pickup stopped at the Caulfield Lane intersection shortly after 10 a.m.
A witness said the Tundra driver braked suddenly and slammed into the stopped Nissan, then pulled to the right and sped southbound toward Cross Creek Drive, where his lane ended, police said.
The driver jerked to the right and crashed into another southbound car, a Ford Escape SUV driven by Nicholas Stober, 26, of Sonoma, causing the Tundra to flip several times and then slide to a stop in the roundabout at Casa Grande Road.
Bodeau's truck landed on its side with the driver trapped inside. Fire crews cut the roof off the cab to free him from the wreckage, officials said.
He was treated at the scene and rushed to the trauma center at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, police and fire officials said.
Stober suffered minor injuries and did not require hospitalization, fire personnel said.
The Nissan driver, Santa Rosa resident Modesto Jacinto Tah, 41, suffered minor injuries in the first collision, police said.
Investigators are looking for witnesses to the two crashes. Anyone with information may contact traffic Officer Rob Hawkins at 776-3722 and reference report number 12-5394.