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Petaluma pedestrian collision involved 3 teenage sisters

Three teenage sisters were injured after they were hit by a car while they were in a crosswalk Monday morning in Petaluma.

They were hit by a Nissan Altima driven by a 64-year-old Petaluma man accused of failing to yield to pedestrians, Petaluma police Lt. Tim Lyons said Tuesday evening.

Lyons confirmed details after initially releasing preliminary information just hours after the collision on Sonoma Mountain Parkway at Ely Road. At the time, he said two females were injured.

The southbound driver was going about 20 mph when he turned east onto Sonoma Mountain and hit the girls as they headed north around 11:40 a.m., Lyons said. Signals indicated both parties could proceed, but the driver was making a left turn and was supposed to yield to the girls.

Their mother, Petaluma resident Joanna Paun, described her daughters as 16-year-old twins and a 13-year-old who were on their way to pick up their 9-year-old sister from a nearby elementary school.

She said “they were hit pretty hard.”

“They saw (the car) and one of them braced themselves,” Paun said.

Paramedics took one of the twins to Petaluma Valley Hospital for a concussion, said Paun, who is the Petaluma City Schools Board of Education president.

The other twin had a broken foot and the youngest suffered abrasions.Paun said both of those girls were released at the scene.

“I’m surprised they only took one of them even though all three of them were hit,” she said.

Lyons said both girls said they were OK and at least the twin was released to a family friend at the scene while the 13-year-old went on to get their younger sister from school.

Paun confirmed that a family friend, described as a youth pastor, was at the scene while she drove from work in San Rafael. After coming home, Paun said she took the two girls who were struck to the hospital.

All three girls were home by Monday night and police are still investigating the collision.

Law enforcement officials across Sonoma County said drivers should be cautious as more pedestrians show up. Not just because students are out for summer break, but because COVID-19 restrictions are easing and people are eager to go out.

“To me, I think that’s going to be the bigger issue,” Santa Rosa police Sgt. Chris Mahuran said.

Lyons said pedestrian numbers are returning to levels that haven’t existed in a year and drivers should take every opportunity to make sure it’s safe to proceed.

“Whether it’s a second or a half second, it goes a long way,” he said.

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at colin.atagi@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @colin_atagi

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