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

declined comment.

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



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