We wish we could say the tragic double fatal accident that occurred in the eastbound lanes of Highway 12 Saturday evening was hard to understand. But it's not. Based on what authorities are saying, we've been here before. Too many times.

Authorities say the driver of a speeding pickup that crashed into the back of a Toyota Camry killing two Santa Rosa woman is suspected of being under the influence of marijuana and using his cellphone at the time of the accident.

The suspect, 30-year-old Nicholas Lee Tognozzi of Rohnert Park, told officers that he looked down at his phone to read a text just prior to smashing into the back of the Camry that was waiting for the light to change at Farmers Lane.

The crash claimed the lives of 74-year-old Sharon Hufford and 53-year-old Sue Hufford, both Santa Rosa residents. Donald Hufford, 74, also was severely injured. He remained at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital as of late Monday.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Tognozzi was tested for sobriety and was found to be under the influence of marijuana. He was arrested on suspicion of felony gross vehicular manslaughter and felony driving while under the influence of drugs causing death.

And now the families of those lost and the community as a whole are left with the wreckage. The loss is heartbreaking.

The family members reportedly were all heading for the Villa restaurant off Montgomery Drive to celebrate the birthday of Sue Hufford, a music teacher in the Mark West Union School District. It was a familiar outing.

The dangers of the intersection of Highway 12 at Farmers Lane are also too familiar. Vehicles at the tailend of these backups are sitting ducks to anyone who comes up behind them and is not paying attention.

We recognize that the investigation is not complete, and the suspect in this case deserves his day in court.

But if the allegations prove true, it's more horrific testimony to the dangers of driving while intoxicated and/or the dangers of driving while paying attention to a cellphone. It's more testimony we don't need.

When is this message going to sink in?

Columbia University researchers recently reported that fatal crashes involving marijuana use have tripled during the past decade. Overall, drugged driving accounted for roughly 28 percent of traffic deaths in 2010, up from 16 percent in 1999.

Meanwhile, some 6,000 people are killed on U.S. roadways and hundreds of thousands are injured each year in accidents involving distracted driving including those who were looking at their cell phone.

Sonoma County doesn't need more examples of why these are deadly habits. What it needs is wider resolve that there won't be more.

LOCAL SHOWS
Double Decker Lanes:
Second Tuesday of each month at 8:30 p.m. in the lounge. No cover charge. 300 Golf Course Drive, Rohnert Park, 585-0226.
Sally Tomatoes: Comedy showcase on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7:30 p.m. No cover charge. 1100 Valley House Drive, Rohnert Park, 665-9472.
Spancky’s Bar: Open mic each Wednesday at 9 p.m. Last Sunday of each month is a comedy showcase at 8 p.m. No cover charge. 8201 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati, 664-0169.
Redwood Cafe: Second Friday of each month at 8:30 p.m. No cover charge. 8240 Old Redwood Highway, Cotati, 795-7868.
HopMonk Tavern: Comedy open mic every third Sunday at 8 p.m. No cover charge. 230 Petaluma Ave, Sebastopol, 839-7300.
Thumbprint Cellars: Third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. $10 cover. 102 Matheson St, Healdsburg, 433-2393.
El Palomar: Juan Carlos’s comedy show, second Saturday of each month at 8 p.m. $10 cover. 623 Fourth St., Santa Rosa, 575-0574.
r3 Hotel in Guerneville: Comedy nights are Saturdays at 9 p.m., $5 cover. 16390 Fourth St., Guerneville, 869-8399.

FEELING FUNNY?
Want to become a stand-up comedian? Here are two chances to learn how.
- Cinnabar Theater’s Young Rep program offers a “Be Funny or Die!” workshop led by James Pelican and master teachers at 3333 Petaluma Blvd. North. Tuition is $75. Register at cinnabartheater.org, 763-8920.
- Jim Richardson is offering a Stand-Up Comedy Workshop March 31-May 5 at the Sebastopol Community Cultural Center, 390 Morris St., Sebastopol. It culminates in an amateur Comedy Marathon Contest. Classes meet 7-10 p.m. Tuesdays and cost $50 each or $150 for the six-week series. More information: jim@JimRichardson.com, 415-877-4424