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Crash near Graton leaves woman trapped in car for more than 6 hours

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A Santa Rosa woman is in serious condition after being trapped in her overturned vehicle for six and a half hours Sunday morning near Graton.

The woman, estimated to be about 40 years old, was driving west on Guerneville Road about 2:30 a.m. when she ran a stop sign at the Highway 116 intersection, crossed the highway, ramped over a dirt berm through some pine trees and landed upside down on private property beyond the roadway.

Graton Fire Chief Bill Bullard said his team didn’t get the call until about 9 a.m. He said given the dirt berm and pine trees, as well as thick morning fog, the woman’s Honda was nearly impossible to spot despite what Bullard said would have been hundreds of cars driving by the crash site.

“She was in there six and a half hours — trapped in there,” Bullard said. “The roof was crushed to the point where neither door would open.”

Graton and Forestville firefighters had to cut both doors off the vehicle to free the woman, who was taken by ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in serious condition. Bullard said the woman was alert and conscious.

Bullard said it’s rare for someone to miss the stop sign at Guerneville Road and Highway 116. Even with fog, there are three sets of rumble strips. But when people do crash here, he said, it tends to be bad.

“We haven’t seen someone go over the dirt berm on the opposite side for about 15 years,” Bullard said. “The last crash we ran there the driver was killed instantly and the passenger had to be extricated.”

That crash, too, wasn’t responded to for several hours, Bullard said.

Bullard said California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash.

You can reach Staff Writer Tyler Silvy at 707-526-8667 or at tyler.silvy@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @tylersilvy.

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