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Passenger dead, suspected DUI driver arrested in Highway 12 crash

A 22-year-old Santa Rosa woman was killed and her companion seriously injured early Sunday when their speeding SUV flipped over on the Highway 12 onramp at Dutton Avenue.

Sarai Torres-Nunez, a passenger in the white 1994 Honda Passport, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver, Antonio Moreno-Murillo, 21, was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on a suspended license and violating probation. He had a previous arrest for drunken driving, the CHP said.

Moreno-Murillo was traveling east on Highway 12 shortly before 2:30 a.m. when he took the offramp at Dutton Avenue at a high rate of speed, according to the CHP. He drove through a stoplight at the bottom of the ramp, nearly colliding with another motorist in the intersection, and then continued toward the highway on the other side of the road, according to the CHP.

“He maybe tried to make some kind of evasive maneuver to avoid hitting the other car, which caused him to lose control,” CHP Officer Marcus Hawkins said.

The Honda overturned, slid onto the south sidewalk, struck a tree and slammed into the guardrail, a piece of which punched through the back of the vehicle, he added. The onramp was closed for two hours after the crash.

You can reach Staff Writer Meg McConahey at meg.mcconahey@pressdemocrat.com or 521-5204.


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