An 8-month-old girl died Thursday night after a three-car collision on Lakeville Highway that also injured the girl’s mother, of Folsom, and six others, some of whom were pulled from the wreckage by witnesses and one of the injured motorists.
The crash, reported to the California Highway Patrol at 8:12 p.m., closed the two-lane roadway near Old Lakeville Road No. 2 until past midnight. It was the fifth crash recorded so far this month by authorities on the busy highway, which connects highways 101 and 37 and has become notorious for its frequent and deadly auto accidents.
The name of the baby who died in the wreck was not released Friday. Her mother, Caitlin Marshall, 31, was driving a white Ford Explorer south on Lakeville Highway when it was struck by a silver Volkswagen Jetta traveling north, said CHP Officer Jon Sloat.
The driver of the Jetta, Ryan Deloye, 18, of Granite Bay appeared to have crossed the double-yellow lines, Sloat said.
Marshall’s vehicle was propelled off the west side of the roadway into a tree, the CHP said. The collision with the tree impacted the passenger side of the SUV, Sloat said. Four others in the vehicle, including a 32-year-old woman and three other children, ages 5, 3 and 1, were injured and hospitalized after the crash.
After the collision, Deloye’s car went into an uncontrolled spin. It crashed into the right side of a southbound blue Ford Fusion driven by Matthew Swoyer, 25, of Fairfield, the CHP said.
Swoyer, the lone occupant in his vehicle, was one of several people who rushed to the crumpled Explorer moments after the crash.
“I knew I was OK and I knew I needed to help,” Swoyer said.
He said he scanned the area to make sure the crash site was safe, and later directed another bystander to call 911, relying on training he picked up as a cadet with the Fairfield Police Department, as well as enrollment with the California Cadet Academy, a summer program for teens interested in public safety careers.
He and another man, 21-year-old Steve Costello from Oakley, California pried open the driver’s door after seeing the two women in the front seat. The women were conscious but disoriented.
A third man, Lincoln resident Kevin Toon, 50, said he also rushed to the scene shortly after the crash, and helped cut the children free from their seat belts.
The smallest child, who Toon believes may have been the 8-month old, was in bad shape. The infant was passed to a woman who also responded to the crash, and who appeared to have medical training.
“She was the one that had the baby and she was doing chest compressions,” Toon said. “My only thought was to get all of those kids out that car and away from the vehicle.”
The baby, originally identified as being 7 months old, was taken to Petaluma Valley Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, CHP Sgt. Josh Kolstad said. The three other children, along with Marshall and the other, unidentified woman in the Explorer, were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
Two of the children and the two women remained in critical condition Friday afternoon, Sloat said. One child was released from the hospital.