Santa Rosa family visiting Mexico in head-on collision, killing mother remembered as ‘loving, joyful and caring’

The family was involved in a vehicle collision Sunday while visiting Mexico, killing Lorena Gutierrez and gravely injuring her husband and two of their children.|

A Santa Rosa mother was killed Sunday when her family’s vehicle was involved in a head-on collision in Mexico, where her husband was gravely injured and two of their young children also are hospitalized in critical condition.

Lorena Gutierrez, 50, and her family were visiting her hometown in Uruapan, Michoacán, at the time of the collision, according to Gutierrez’s sister.

Gutierrez’s husband, Pedro Arango, 57, a local chiropractor, has a life-threatening head injury and is being treated in a local hospital, according to a GoFundMe post by Raquel Gutierrez, Lorena’s sister.

Two of the couple’s children, sons Armany, 10, and Imanol, 8, who attend Kawana Elementary School in Santa Rosa, are in critical condition, the post states.

Armany is suffering from major internal head bleeding and Imanol from head injuries and broken bones.

The collision happened Sunday when the family were returning to the city on the Uruapan-Lombardía freeway. A driver traveling in the opposite direction hit their vehicle head on, according to, a news site in Morelia, Michoacan.

The high-speed crash involved a red Ford Ranger truck and a white Nissan compact car, according to the news site.

After a motorist called 911 to report the crash, paramedics and firefighters responded, helping the three injured survivors and declaring a woman and a man dead, according to the article. It did not identify the victims or specify the suspected cause.

But the post by Guiterrez’s sister indicated Lorena was one them and that the driver of the other vehicle was intoxicated at the time of the crash.

The GoFundMe hopes to raise money to cover the surviving family members’ medical and surgery bills.

Guitierrez, a mother of five, was “a loving, joyful, and caring mother, who did anything she could to help her family,” her sister said in the post.

La Prensa Sonoma Editor Joseph Trevino contributed to translation in this story.

You can reach Staff Writer Alana Minkler at 707-526-8511 or On Twitter @alana_minkler.

Alana Minkler

Education Reporter

The world is filled with stories that inspire compassion, wonder, laughs and even tears. As a Press Democrat reporter covering education, it’s my goal to give others a voice to share these stories.

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.