Police: Santa Rosa woman, 80, strikes pedestrian, then car on Highway 12

How To Help

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Austin Polen. To donate, go to

An 80-year-old Santa Rosa woman driving an SUV struck and gravely injured a pedestrian Thursday afternoon before causing a second accident, police said.

Sherry Ann Gray was driving an Infiniti FX35 eastbound on Highway 12 shortly before 6 p.m. when she ran a red light and struck Austin Polen, 25, Santa Rosa police said.

Polen of Santa Rosa was crossing south at the crosswalk at Highway 12 and Middle Rincon Road when he was hit. Several witnesses called police as Gray continued driving east for another mile and a half before rear-ending a Toyota Rav 4 driven by Sonja Bauer, 64, of Santa Rosa, police said.

Bauer called authorities when she was rear-ended, and when officers responded they determined Gray had struck Polen before hitting Bauer's car, police said.

Bauer was not injured, but Polen suffered major head trauma and multiple broken bones, police said. He's in critical condition.

Investigators don't believe Gray was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but police in a news release said it “did not appear (she) was aware that she struck the pedestrian.”

The intersection of Highway 12 and Middle Rincon Road was closed for several hours Thursday as police investigated the crash.

You can reach Staff Writers Andrew Beale at 707-521-5205 or

How To Help

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Austin Polen. To donate, go to

UPDATED: Please read and follow our commenting policy:

  • This is a family newspaper, please use a kind and respectful tone.
  • No profanity, hate speech or personal attacks. No off-topic remarks.
  • No disinformation about current events.
  • We will remove any comments — or commenters — that do not follow this commenting policy.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

The Press Democrat
Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Sonoma County Gazette