Two drivers critically injured in a head‑on collision Saturday in rural west Sonoma County both were arrested by CHP officers on suspicion of drunken driving.
The 4:08 a.m. crash occurred on Valley Ford Road, east of Gericke Road when a pickup driven by Steven Cline, 51, of Rio Vista drifted across double yellow lines into the path of 21-year-old Santa Rosa resident Emma Dominguez Quintero’s pickup, said CHP Officer Steve Fricke.
The impact crushed the front ends, trapping the drivers and blocking the wide, two‑lane route, said Valley Ford Fire Chief Ron Caselli.
Caselli arrived at the dark and foggy scene first, 11 minutes after being dispatched. The volunteer chief had to first go to the Valley Ford fire house for an engine and gear.
Volunteer firefighters are scarce in the rural area and Caselli was the only responder from the struggling Valley Ford Volunteer Fire Company. He was joined by two U.S. Coast Guard firefighters in an engine and an ambulance. The double extrication job required more people and Caselli asked for help from Marin County Fire in Tomales and Gold Ridge fire near Sebastopol, gaining eight more firefighters. A second ambulance also responded.
“It was all hands to get that done,” Caselli said.
The firefighters broke into teams, using special equipment to cut off the doors, roof and dash, which had all crumpled around the drivers, Caselli said. It took about an hour to free them.
The two were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Cline was suspected of causing the crash and arrested on suspicion of DUI. But the second driver also was suspected of being intoxicated and she also was arrested, Frick said. Both were released to the hospital because of their injuries, Fricke said.
Their conditions weren’t available from hospital officials Monday afternoon.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or email@example.com. On Twitter@rossmannreport.