Sonoma County coroner identifies driver killed in Bennett Valley Road crash

The Santa Rosa man died after crashing his Volkswagen Beetle into trees on March 12, authorities said.|

The driver who died earlier this month in a crash along Bennett Valley Road has been identified as a 60-year-old Santa Rosa man, authorities said.

Thomas Walters was identified by the Sonoma County coroner.

Walters was killed around 6:45 a.m. on March 12 after crashing his silver Volkswagen Beetle east of Santa Rosa, authorities said.

He lost control of the car while going east on Bennett Valley near Gardner Ranch Road at a high rate of speed, after crossing a double yellow line to pass at least one car, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Walters swung into the westbound lane and shoulder and collided with two trees, the CHP said.

The collision pushed the car back into the road, where it was hit by a Nissan pickup in the westbound lane.

Walters was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Nissan driver was not hurt, but the vehicle had minor damage, the CHP said.

Bennett Valley Road was closed to traffic for more than two hours following the crash.

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at On Twitter @Matt__Pera.

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.