Homeowners upset over multiple accidents on Todd Road turn

  • Robin Russell waits for the California Highway Patrol to inspect a crash scene on her property off Todd Road, Wednesday June 4, 2014 between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa. The driver of the car missed a hairpin curve and launched on to the property 100 yards in. Minor injuries were reported. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2014

The 90-degree turn on Todd Road at Powers Road near Sebastopol has been the site of so many auto accidents most residents have been unable to keep an exact count.

But after back-to-back crashes last week, including one that launched a vehicle some 50 yards onto residential property, one homeowner is mounting a crusade to get help.

"The county needs to do something to make that curve safer," said Robin Russell, whose broken fence attests to the battering her family's property has taken. "It's all on us now to make something happen."

Russell, her husband, Devin, and their two children live on Powers Road, a narrow lane that extends southward from the vertex of a right angle made by the turn in Todd Road where it shifts from a north-south to an east-west alignment.

The Russells' elongated yard is usually on the receiving end of the southbound vehicles that lose control and miss the turn.

Seven vehicles have landed on their property in the two years they have lived there, according to Robin Russell, including the two crashes last week 30 hours apart.

A beat-up road sign at the edge marked "20" with a 90-degree arrow stands in the path of those wayward vehicles, near the Russells' broken fence. It looks as if it's been knocked down and repaired more than once.

The first of last week's crashes occurred around 9:15 p.m. Tuesday, June 3, when an SUV went airborne and landed on its roof about 165 feet off the road, near the play area for Russell's daughter.

The next crash came Thursday morning, June 5, shortly before 3:30 a.m. The vehicle came to a stop just off the road.

The CHP arrested drivers in both cases for suspected drunken driving, Officer Jon Sloat said. Neither was injured.

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