Suspected drunken driver runs over pedestrian at Rohnert Park Walmart

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A man was seriously injured Thursday when a suspected drunken driver backing a vehicle out of a parking space at a Rohnert Park Walmart store knocked him down and drove over him, police officials said.

The 66-year-old San Francisco man was rushed to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with major injuries after the crash, reported just before 6 p.m. at the big box retailer’s parking lot off Redwood Drive, Rohnert Park Public Safety Sgt. Jeff Nicks said.

Driver Kathy Jean Barella, 58, was booked into the Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of felony drunken driving causing injury. An initial test taken at the scene recorded a blood-alcohol level of 0.11 percent, well above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, Nicks said.

Barella’s current address was unclear, as she appeared to have addresses in Santa Rosa, San Rafael and Nevada, Nicks said. Before the crash, witnesses said she was using a coin counting machine inside Walmart. The injured man, who wasn’t identified, was walking with his girlfriend and heading back to a parked vehicle when he was struck by Barella’s vehicle, a 2005 Jeep Liberty, Nicks said.

At the scene, Barella admitted to police she had been drinking, Nicks said. Officers found alcohol bottles in the vehicle, according to the sergeant.

You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 707-521-5220 or julie.johnson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @jjpressdem.

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