Coroner identifies driver killed in River Road crash as Calistoga woman

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The driver killed in a late June crash on River Road was a 73-year-old Calistoga woman, the Sonoma County Coroner’s Office said Monday.

The coroner’s office said it took nearly two weeks to publicly identify Carol Ann Caywood because her next of kin was out of the country and could not be reached until she returned.

Caywood was killed June 26 in a head-on collision near the Martinelli Vineyards & Winery. CHP said the driver of the silver Hyundai Santa Fe crossed into the incoming lane and sideswiped a white Fort Ranger before colliding head-on with Caywood’s white Honda CR-V.

The driver of the Hyundai and a passenger were transported to the hospital with mild-to-moderate injuries, CHP said at the time. The driver of the Ford Ranger was uninjured. It was unclear what caused the Hyundai to drift into the oncoming lane, authorities said. CHP and the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office continue investigating the crash.

An obituary for Caywood published Tuesday said Caywood was a music teacher in Marin County schools, including Marin Academy, St. Patrick’s and Kent Middle School. She earned degrees from Sonoma State University, Stony Brook University in New York and Holy Names in Oakland, the last in the Kodály program, an interactive and collaborative method of teaching music to children.

Caywood retired in 2008 and moved back to her hometown of Calistoga, serving as the children’s ministry director in the Highlands Christian Fellowship Church.

“Those who knew Carol understood she loved her friends, her church, her cats (all of whom serially appeared on her doorstep just when she needed them), her garden (her glorious garden of vegetables and fruit and a riot of flowers), the outdoors—she was a hiker, a swimmer, a kayaker,” the obituary said. “She was unique. Although we suffer her loss as we celebrate having known her, Carol would want us all to know that she is now safely at home with the Lord.”

A memorial service for Caywood will be held on July 13 at 1:00 pm at Highlands Christian Fellowship in Calistoga.

You can reach Staff Writer Andrew Beale at 707-521-5205 or On Twitter @iambeale.

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