A vehicle crash that seriously injured a woman and sparked a fire on a hillside east of Santa Rosa may have been caused by the driver going too fast, the CHP said Saturday.

The driver, identified by the CHP as 25-year-old Eric Gil of Pittsburg, was driving his 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche east on Mark West Springs Road near Meadow Vista Trail when Gil lost control of the vehicle, CHP Sgt. Blair Hardcastle said.

Hardcastle said the Chevrolet went down an embankment and collided with a tree. The crash occurred at about 7:49 p.m. Friday.

Kathryn Blankenship, 29, of San Pablo, was ejected from the vehicle. She had been lying in the back seat and was not wearing a seat belt.

Blankenship was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with major, but non-life threatening injuries.

Gil, the driver, was not hurt in the crash, which sparked a fire that spread to the hillside. Firefighters quickly knocked the blaze down.

Hardcastle said the CHP determined Gil was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash, which closed Mark West Springs Road for approximately two hours.

You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 707-521-5336 or derek.moore@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @deadlinederek.

To read more of the PD's coverage of the Valley fire click here.