1 dead after Sonoma County Transit bus and pickup collide near Guerneville

A pickup driver died Thursday in a head-on collision with a Sonoma County Transit bus east of Guerneville, authorities said.|

A pickup driver died Thursday in a head-on collision with a Sonoma County Transit bus east of Guerneville, authorities said.

The collision was reported just before noon in front of Korbel Winery at 13250 River Road, said California Highway Patrol Officer David deRutte.

The westbound lane of River Road was closed, and traffic was routed along Odd Fellows Park Road. The eastbound lane remains open, the CHP said.

Authorities cleared the scene around 3:30 p.m., deRutte said.

An early investigation showed the driver of a Toyota Tacoma was heading east on River Road when he entered the opposite lanes and collided with the bus.

The bus pushed the pickup a short distance before both came to a stop.

Around six people, including the driver, were on the bus. The driver, 26-year-old Michael Hein of Sebastopol, was taken to a hospital for minor injuries.

DeRutte said he didn’t know how or if the passengers were transported from the scene.

River Road is a 15-mile arterial connecting Highway 101 in northwest Santa Rosa to Highway 116 in Guerneville. There have been at least three other fatal collisions on River Road since 2015.

In March of that year, two drivers and a dog died in a head-on collision west of Laughlin Avenue, which is about 10 miles east of where Thursday’s collision happened.

Another fatality occurred in June 2019 when a woman died in a three-vehicle collision near River and Olivet Road. That’s about 8.5 miles east of Old Fellows Park.

Later, in October 2020, a driver died after being thrown from a vehicle that went down an embankment near River and Trenton-Healdsburg Road. The crash, which occurred about 6.5 miles east of Old Fellows Park, happened several hours before the victim was discovered.

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at On Twitter @Matt__Pera.

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