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Teen who died in crash near Sonoma identified as Mill Valley boy

A 16-year-old Marin County boy has been identified as the passenger who died in a four-vehicle crash on Highway 116 Sunday morning near the town of Sonoma.

Liam Washington of Mill Valley was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which happened at about 11:15 a.m. just west of Watmaugh Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

He was riding in the back seat of a 2017 Cadillac behind the driver, 24-year-old Troy Manessis Alexander* of Novato, who is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs when the crash happened, the CHP said.

Alexander was severely injured in the crash. He was taken by ambulance to Providence Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, where he remained hospitalized on Monday, said CHP Officer Jaret Paulson.

Liam’s twin brother, Lucas Washington, was in the front passenger seat of the Cadillac. He was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and also remained hospitalized on Monday, Paulson said.

A hospital spokesman told The Press Democrat Lucas Washington’s status couldn’t be released because he is a minor.

Efforts to reach family members of the two brothers and to get the suspect’s status were unsuccessful Monday.

Families at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley received a message from school principal J.C. Farr on Monday notifying them of Liam’s death and Lucas’s injury.

“Liam was a valued member of our student community and will surely be missed,” he said, identifying the twin brothers as sophomores at the school. “We are feeling his loss very deeply.”

Friends started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family of the twins. As of Tuesday night it had raised more than $61,000.

CHP Sgt. Cruz Correa told reporters at the scene of the crash that witnesses reported Alexander had been “driving recklessly, crossing over solid double yellow lines, passing other vehicles that were traveling westbound.”

Alexander, who was driving west on the highway, hit three cars in a row that were traveling in the opposite direction, according to the CHP.

The Cadillac first collided with an Infiniti SUV. Then it hit a 2005 Acura followed by a 2016 Ford F350 pickup, the CHP said.

Two of the other drivers, a 56-year-old Mill Valley woman and a 63-year-old Napa man, had minor injuries. The fourth driver, a 35-year-old man from Santa Rosa, was not injured, according to the CHP.

The highway was closed in both directions for several hours Sunday while the crash was investigated and cleared. It was reopened shortly after 3:15 p.m.

Correa said he could not estimate the speed of the Cadillac when the crash happened, but the severity of damage to the car indicated the speed was “significant.”

*Editor’s note: The suspect’s name is Troy Manessis Alexander . In a previous version of this article, his name was transposed due to a source error.

Staff Writer Colin Atagi contributed to this story. You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at matthew.pera@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @Matt__Pera.

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