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Santa Rosa woman who ran over boyfriend suspected of DUI

A woman who was behind the wheel of a minivan when her boyfriend was thrown from it and killed Saturday has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving Santa Rosa police said.

Darlene Ferris, 71, was in the minivan in the former Kmart parking lot on Industrial Drive around 3:30 p.m. when she accelerated backwards, causing her 77-year-old boyfriend to fall out, police said. The minivan then ran over the man.

“He fell out of the vehicle when it was in motion and went underneath the vehicle and was struck by the vehicle,” Sgt. Dave Marconi said. “It was just weird.”

The van also struck a concrete curb and a tree in the parking lot, police said.

An off-duty paramedic tried to help the man, administering CPR until an ambulance arrived, officials said. The man was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He hasn’t been identified, pending the notification of next of kin.

Ferris, who’s homeless, was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of DUI with injury and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, both felonies.

It’s not clear if her boyfriend was also homeless.

Anyone with information about the accident can call Officer Jeff Adams at 707-543-3636.

- Kevin McCallum

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