A Santa Rosa motorist has been charged with driving under the influence after a head-on collision on Highway 12 Tuesday morning killed a Boyes Hot Springs woman and seriously injured a 7-year-old girl.
According to the California Highway Patrol, Jose M. Lopez-Perez, 25, of Santa Rosa, was northbound in his 2004 Ford truck on Highway 12, just north of Agua Caliente Road at around 7:45 a.m. Witnesses said Lopez-Perez was driving over the double-yellow lines and collided head-on with a southbound vehicle driven by Estefania Soto, 27, of Boyes Hot Springs.
After the collision, Lopez-Perez’ truck caught fire and he was pulled from his burning truck by passersby that included a retired fire chief.
Soto was pronounced dead at the scene. Soto’s 7-year-old passenger was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with major injuries.
Lopez-Perez was also transported to Santa Rosa Memorial with major injuries where he was later arrested on charges of driving under the influence.
According to the CHP, both drivers were wearing seat belts and the 7-year-old was properly restrained in a child safety seat at the time of the collision.
Highway 12 was closed in both direction for more than four hours.