Nine injured in suspected DUI crash on Mendocino Coast

A minivan filled with visitors to the Mendocino Coast was struck head-on by DUI suspect near Point Arena on Saturday night, the CHP reported Sunday.

Authorities said the incident occurred around ?7:48 p.m. when a truck driven by William Mladenka, 71, of Freeborn, Texas, drifted across the double yellow line on a northbound curve of Highway 1 and into the path of a ?2014 Honda Odyssey.

The minivan driver, Fair Oaks resident Mary Kay Viglione, 66, had too little time to avoid a collision with the oncoming 2007 Toyota Tacoma pickup, the CHP said.

The two vehicles collided head-on just north of Lighthouse Road, injuring everyone inside. Five ground ambulances and two emergency medical helicopters transported all the injured to area hospitals, emergency officials said.

The most severely injured was Mladenka, who was flown to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with major injuries, the CHP said. His blood-alcohol level was later measured at 0.15 percent, about twice the legal limit, authorites said. It is illegal to drive in California with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.

His passenger, Kathleen Mladenka, 68, also suffered major injuries and was flown to Ukiah Valley Medical Center in Ukiah.

Viglione and her passengers, all women, suffered minor injuries in the crash, the CHP said. Viglione was taken by ground ambulance to Mendocino Coast District Hospital, as were Helen Cherie Mitchell, 70, of Hidden Valley Lake; Pamela Joy Miller, 67, of Sacramento; Christine Anne Lennon, 65, of El Dorado Hills; and Ruth Ann Halbrook, 61, of Carmichael.

Two additional passengers, Sheryl Ruth Hurst-Carpenter, 62, of Rocklin, and Agnes B. Hobbs, 63, of Sacramento, were taken by ground to Santa Rosa Memorial.

All drivers and passengers were wearing safety belts, the CHP said.

You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at ?707-521-5249 or mary.? On Twitter ?@MaryCallahanB.

Mary Callahan

Environment and Climate Change, The Press Democrat

I am in awe of the breathtaking nature here in Sonoma County and am so grateful to live in this spectacular region we call home. I am amazed, too, by the expertise in our community and by the commitment to protecting the land, its waterways, its wildlife and its residents. My goal is to improve understanding of the issues, to find hope and to help all of us navigate the future of our environment. 

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