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CHP: DUI driver ran from Santa Rosa crash, leaving two with life-threatening injuries

A suspected drunken driver remained in custody Wednesday after fleeing a Highway 101 crash in northern Santa Rosa that left two people with life-threatening injuries, the CHP said.

Francisco Gonzalez Mejia, 20, of Petaluma, was arrested after officers found him injured and walking on Fulton Road, not far from where the 11:50 p.m. crash occurred Saturday near the Airport Boulevard exit.

Mejia, who witnesses identified as the runaway driver, initially denied being involved, but his girlfriend then drove up, telling officers he had called her for a ride, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

Officers said they found Mejia’s unoccupied Mercedes in the bushes along the highway’s shoulder and two severely injured Rohnert Park residents in a Toyota Corolla. The driver, Elvis Veliz, 46, still was in the car, but passenger Lourdes Marcelo, 47, was thrown from the sedan after not wearing a seat belt, Sloat said.

The two were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with severe injuries, Sloat said. They weren’t listed as patients Tuesday. It’s unclear whether they were taken to another hospital.

Mejia was treated for his injuries and booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of felony DUI causing injuries, hit and run and violating his probation. He was being held without bail.

- Randi Rossmann

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