A Calistoga man suspected of drunken driving and speeding with a car full of passengers Monday night crossed double yellow lines to pass another vehicle on rural Calistoga Road before losing control and crashing into a tree, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The Honda Accord’s front end hit the tree head-on and driver Victor Hernandez, 26, was pinned by one leg, requiring an extensive rescue effort to free him. His left foot was nearly severed, the CHP said Tuesday.
Jesus Alvarado, 27, of Calistoga, suffered major internal injuries. Carolyn Meyers, 23, of Colusa, and Jasmin Vasquez, 23, of Calistoga,
were cut and bruised but were not admitted to a hospital.
The crash happened at 10:30 p.m. as Hernandez headed toward Calistoga in a 45 mph stretch on the east Santa Rosa route that changes from city streets to a narrow winding road outside city limits. The Honda was outside the city, approaching St. Helena Road, when Hernandez passed another vehicle by illegally crossing over the yellow lines, the CHP said. The Honda drifted off the roadway and crashed.
Officers reported that all four people in the car were under the influence of alcohol.
Rincon Valley and Santa Rosa firefighters responded to the crash. Firefighters worked for 30 minutes cutting away metal and using equipment to raise the dash before freeing the driver, said Rincon Valley Fire Chief Jack Piccinini.
“The vehicle hit the tree at a high rate of speed, based on the damage,” said Piccinini, who was at the scene. “The way the dash collapsed down on him, it pinned his foot. It was really difficult to get into that small space and free his leg.”
Hernandez and Alvarado were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Hernandez was released to the hospital for treatment and the CHP said it will ask the District Attorney’s Office to file a felony drunken driving charge against him when he is released, the CHP said.
Alvarado remained hospitalized Tuesday in fair condition.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707-521-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter@rossmannreport.