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One of two bicyclists hit by suspected drunken driver near Sebastopol dies

One of two bicyclists who was struck and seriously injured by a suspected drunken driver May 12 north of Sebastopol died Thursday, authorities said.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office previously identified the man as Mark Osborne, 52, of Santa Rosa.

He has been identified as an enologist at the Gary Farrell Winery in Healdsburg who is originally from Australia. He was a competitive mountain biker and marathoner.

A 12-year-old boy who also was hit remains at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, according to a previous CHP statement. The agency has declined to release information about the boy’s condition or his identity, citing his status as a minor.

The man suspected of hitting them, Ulises Valdez Jr., 27, of Sebastopol, a manager in the wine-growing part of the business at Valdez Family Winery, is still at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with “significant injuries,“ according to Sonoma County Deputy District Attorney Brian Staebell.

Valdez was arrested on suspicion of felony driving under the influence of alcohol after being taken to Memorial Hospital along with the two bicyclists at the time of the crash, the CHP said. He was released to the hospital’s custody at the time, CHP spokesman Officer David de Rutte said Thursday.

On May 12, the two bicyclists, who the CHP said were not related, were riding north separately on the right shoulder of High School Road south of Gaye Road.

The suspect, driving a Ram Rebel pickup, approached the bicyclists from behind on High School Road, driving at a high speed, and lost control on a left curve in the road, deRutte said at the time.

Valdez drove onto the shoulder and collided with the 12-year-old, continued out of control back into the traffic lane, then back onto the right shoulder, where the truck struck Osborne, he said. The pickup then drove off the road and crashed into a utility pole and a tree, deRutte said.

The Valdez Family Winery was founded in Healdsburg in 2004 by Ulises Valdez Sr., who died in 2018. His daughter, Elizabeth, is the winemaker.

Staff Writers Ethan Varian and Bill Swindell contributed to this report. You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at kathleen.coates@pressdemocrat.com.

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