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CHP: Driver hits two vehicles and a tree in Guerneville DUI crash

At least three vehicles and a tree were damaged in Guerneville on Tuesday evening after a man crashed a stolen truck into all of them in an apparent rampage while under the influence of drugs, authorities said.

Rusty Johnson, 48, of Yuba City was arrested near Safeway on Mill Street, on suspicion of DUI, theft of a vehicle and hit-and-run shortly after 6:45 p.m., the California Highway Patrol said. He had sustained major injuries in the crashes and was released to the Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where he was taken by ambulance.

Johnson is suspected of stealing a Dodge Ram truck that was left running on Mill Street, said Officer David deRutte, public information officer for the CHP.

Authorities said that Johnson drove into the parking lot of the Safeway and crashed into two parked vehicles. The first was another Dodge Ram and the second a Honda Civic, which sustained moderate damage, deRutte said.

The engine of the stolen truck died, deRutte said, and customers at the store tried to get Johnson to remain at the scene. But he restarted the engine and sped around the back of the Safeway before crashing the car again into a tree near the parking lot entrance, deRutte said.

Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies also responded to the report as well as a crew from the Sonoma County Fire Station 9 in Guerneville, deRutte said.

Kaylee Tornay

Education, The Press Democrat

Learning is a transformative experience. Beyond that, it’s a right, under the law, for every child in this country. But we also look to local schools to do much more than teach children; they are tasked with feeding them, socializing them and offering skills in leadership and civics. My job is to help you make sense of K-12 education in Sonoma County and beyond.  

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