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Highway 12 crash injures 3, kills dog

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A two-car crash on Highway 12 west of Santa Rosa sent three people to the hospital Monday afternoon, killed a dog and tied up traffic for miles in both directions.

A blue Scion SUV and a tan Toyota Camry collided head-on near the intersection of Merced Avenue and Highway 12 shortly after 5 p.m., according to CHP Sgt. John Evans.

The tremendous impact mangled the front ends of both cars, trapping the occupants in their vehicles before firefighters rescued them.

The driver of the Scion, who is 41, was the most severely injured, Evans said. His passenger, a 27-year-old woman, and the driver of the Camry, a 33-year-old woman, were also injured and transported to the hospital.

The crash also killed a reddish-colored collie type dog in the Scion, Evans said.

“You know it was a tremendous impact when it was enough, unfortunately, to kill the dog,” said Rincon Valley Fire Chief Fred Leuenberger.

Traffic was detoured down narrow rural roads to avoid the crash site, causing significant backups.

After investigators finished their initial assessment of the scene, the crumpled cars were winched up onto flatbed tow trucks and traffic on Highway 12 was restored again by 6 p.m.

Evans said the accident appeared to be a head-on collision between two vehicles traveling in opposite directions on Highway 12, but investigators weren’t yet sure. He asked witnesses to call the CHP at 707-551-4100.

You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 707-521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @srcitybeat.

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