Suspected Mendocino Coast DUI crash injures child

A 1-year-old boy was taken to a Sacramento hospital Sunday, after being injured in a suspected drunken driving crash on Highway 1 in northern Mendocino County, according to the CHP.

CHP officers arrested driver James Belch, 52, of Leggett, who is suspected of causing a head-on Highway 1 crash near Rockport, the CHP said in a news release.

Belch had been northbound on a curve near the coastal community when his 2000 GMC crossed the double yellow lines and smashed into an oncoming 1998 Toyota carrying five people, including two toddlers.

The Toyota was driven by Raeanna Baumann, 20, of Myers Flat, the CHP said.

Passenger Michael Baumann III, 1, of Myers Flat, was taken to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

Also in the car were Michael Baumann Jr., 19, of Miranda, Roger Moore, 3, of Myers Flat, and Areonia Garcia, 19, of Miranda. Details about their injuries were not released.

Belch reportedly had minor injuries. He was booked into the Mendocino County Jail on two counts of suspected felony drunken driving. His bail was set at $50,000.

Randi Rossmann

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