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Suspected DUI driver hits cars along Highway 101, pins two in wreckage

Four people were injured - two pinned in crash wreckage - after a suspected drunken driver plowed into their vehicles along Highway 101 in Santa Rosa, CHP said Monday.

The four were taken to area hospitals after Saturday’s 11:30 p.m. crash involving multiple vehicles and a tow truck.

Officers arrested driver Ascencion Roman, 51, of Santa Rosa, suspecting he was drunk when he drove out of his northbound lane and into three vehicles parked on the shoulder and people nearby, CHP Officer David deRutte said Monday.

Initially, a couple traveling north on Highway 101 pulled over south of the Steele Lane exit due to trouble with their Nissan sedan. They called either family or friends about their plight and that driver parked their Dodge Challenger behind the Nissan while all waited for a tow.

Extreme Tow driver Jake Cream arrived, concerned to find multiple people and the two vehicles waiting for him, knowing it wasn’t safe to stand on the side of the highway, deRutte said.

“He told (them) to get to the other side of the fence or inside the vehicles,” fearing they could be hit and injured, deRutte said. “We see it all the time, people need to leave. It’s not safe out there.”

Then Roman’s 2007 Toyota Tacoma pickup hit the back of the Challenger, deRutte said. “The impact pushed the Challenger into the rear of the Nissan, into the tow truck,” he said.

Santa Rosa firefighters found the tow truck driver pinned by his legs between the tow truck and Nissan, and a woman pinned by the Challenger and the highway’s sound wall, Santa Rosa fire Battalion Chief Matt Dahl said.

Using hydraulic rescue tools and air bags, firefighters stabilized the situation and freed the two who weren’t injured seriously.

Ascencion wasn’t wearing a seat belt and hit his head in the impact, deRutte said. He was booked into the Sonoma County Jail after being checked for injuries.

You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707-521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com.

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