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Woman crashes SUV into tree, dies in Santa Rosa

The CHP is investigating a fatal crash involving a speeding driver who smashed her SUV Sunday night into a redwood tree off of Mark West Springs Road.

The driver was Amelia Passetti, 55, according to the Sonoma County Coroner’s Office.

The Santa Rosa woman crashed at about 8:45 p.m. just after she exited Highway 101 at the River Road and Mark West Springs Road exit, according to the CHP.

Passetti didn’t slow as took the off ramp and then drove straight through the intersection and ran off of the roadway.

Her 2001 Lexus SUV hit the tree head on, bounced off of it and then hit a light pole, according to the CHP said. The force of the impact collapsed the engine compartment into the passenger compartment.

Rincon Valley firefighters had to cut the crumpled SUV away to free the injured woman.

Fire Capt. Chuck Morris said the complicated extrication effort took about 20 minutes. Paramedics from AMR then began treating the woman and took her to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where she was declared dead at 9:42 p.m.

An investigation indicated the driver had been speeding, weaving and crossing lanes as she traveled north through Santa Rosa just prior to the crash, the CHP said.

Officers were investigating whether alcohol was a factor.


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