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Driver killed, two hurt in head-on Petaluma crash

  • Petaluma fire fighters and police respond to the scene of a 2 vehicle crash on Lakeville Highway near Pineview Avenue on Saturday, June 7, 2014 in of Petaluma, California. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

A 65-year-old Vallejo woman died Saturday night in Petaluma and two people were injured in a crash where alcohol may have been a factor, police said.

The crash occurred shortly after 10 p.m. on Lakeville Highway at South McDowell Boulevard Extension. The dead woman's name was withheld Sunday night pending notification of her family.

Jesse Cockrill, age 25, of Petaluma, was driving a gold 2005 Lincoln west on Lakeville Saturday night when the vehicle apparently swerved into oncoming traffic and collided head on with an eastbound 1994 Silver Toyota Camry driven by the Vallejo woman.

The woman died at the scene. An 8-year-old girl, who police said was the woman's daughter, remained in a local hospital Sunday night under observation with minor injuries.

Cockrill was hospitalized with major injuries and listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit of an unnamed hospital, police said.

An open container of alcohol was found inside the Lincoln, "and emergency medical personnel smelled a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Cockrill," according to a police press release. "Toxicology results are pending."

The incident was the first traffic-related fatality of the year in Petaluma, according to police. Petaluma police have cracked down on impaired drivers this year arresting 113 DUI drivers since Jan. 1, an increase of 24 percent compared to the same period last year, the department said.


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