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1 dead, 2 critically hurt in 4-vehicle crash on Highway 116 near Sonoma

A 24-year-old Novato man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs Sunday following a four-vehicle crash on Highway 116 that killed a 16-year-old boy and severely injured two other people.

The crash about 4 miles southwest of downtown Sonoma happened at 11:15 a.m. just west of Watmaugh Road, according to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Cruz Correa.

The DUI suspect, identified by the CHP as Manessis T. Alexander, was driving west on the highway in a 2017 Cadillac.

He was “driving recklessly, crossing over solid double yellow lines, passing other vehicles that were traveling westbound,” Correa told reporters at the scene.

The Cadillac collided with an Infiniti SUV going east on the highway and then bounced off and hit a 2005 Acura that was also headed east, Correa said.

The Cadillac then continued out of control into the path of a 2016 Ford F350 pickup truck, which was behind the Acura, the CHP said in a news release.

The teen who died had been a passenger in the Cadillac. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Correa said. Authorities did not release his name on Sunday.

Alexander and another 16-year-old boy, who also was a passenger in Alexander’s vehicle, were severely injured in the crash. The boy was taken by helicopter to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Correa said.

Alexander was taken to Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa, according to the CHP.

Two of the other drivers, a 56-year-old Mill Valley woman and a 63-year-old Napa man, had minor injuries. The fourth driver, a 35-year-old man from Santa Rosa, was not injured, according to the news release.

The highway was closed in both directions for several hours Sunday while the crash was investigated and cleared. It was reopened shortly after 3:15 p.m., according to the CHP’s traffic incident website.

Correa said he could not estimate the speed of the Cadillac when the crash happened, but the severity of damage to the car indicated the speed was “significant.”

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