ROHNERT PARK MAN CHARGED IN CRASH THAT KILLED MOM:SON, STILL BEDRIDDEN WITH INJURIES, ACCUSED OF VEHICULAR MANSLUGHTER, FELONY DUI
A 22-year-old Rohnert Park man has been charged with vehicular manslaughter
in the Sept. 10 crash that killed his mother and severely injured himself and
his brother, authorities said.
Ryan Crowder, still recovering from internal injuries and broken bones, is
scheduled to be arraigned today, despite concerns about his ability to get to
court, CHP Sgt. Robert Mota said.
Crowder was arrested Tuesday afternoon on charges of felony driving under
the influence of drugs and vehicular manslaughter in the death of his mother,
Alma Crowder, 42, the CHP said.
But Crowder remains bedridden, Mota said, and when Sonoma County Jail
personnel said they were unable to book him because of his medical needs, he
was cited and ordered to appear in court.
''It is a serious case,'' Mota said. ''It's been a month and a half now.
Charges have been filed by the D.A.'s office. He has been arrested, and
arraignment has been scheduled Friday.''
Mota declined to say what kind of drug Crowder is accused of taking but
said the charges were delayed until state Department of Justice blood testing
was completed to confirm their presence in his system.
Witnesses also said Crowder was traveling at a high speed when he lost
control of the car, authorities said.
''We have some witnesses and then some physical evidence that indicate that
he was traveling at definitely above the speed limit,'' Mota said.
Ryan Crowder was unavailable for comment Thursday, and family members
Prosecutors were unavailable for comment Thursday morning.
Ryan Crowder was driving a white Toyota minivan northbound on Stony Point
Road shortly before noon Sept. 10 when he apparently veered onto the shoulder,
then back across the road and into an oncoming minivan. The collision occurred
between Todd Road and Scenic Avenue northwest of Rohnert Park, the CHP said.
A Santa Rosa woman driving the red van, Donna Brockwell, and her 5-year-old
grandson suffered minor injuries and were treated at a local hospital, then
released, the CHP said.
Crowder's vehicle, after striking Brockwell's van, careened into an
embankment, seriously injuring all those inside.
The occupants escaped with the help of passersby before the van burst into
flames. Alma Crowder died several hours later at a hospital.
Her son Jesse Crowder, 24, suffered broken leg bones and other injuries,
his father, Todd Crowder, said at the hospital that day.
Ryan Crowder sustained fractures of the femur, hip and ribs, and had a
lacerated liver as well as other internal injuries, his father said.
You can reach Staff Writer Mary Callahan at 521-5249 or