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Sonoma Valley second-grader remains hospitalized after fatal head-on collision

Estefania Soto and her daughter. (FACEBOOK)

NICK RAHAIM,

A day after authorities said a suspected drunken pickup driver collided with an oncoming sedan on Highway 12, killing a 27-year-old Boyes Hot Springs mother, her 7-year-old daughter clings to life in an Oakland hospital, according to the woman’s boss.

The mother, Estefania Soto, who was driving the Nissan Sentra hit by the pickup in Agua Caliente about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, died at the scene, authorities said.

Soto’s daughter, Kaliyah Ava Rose Adkins, who was riding in a pink booster seat in the back of the car, remained in critical condition Wednesday at Childrens Hospital Oakland, according to Casey Chavez, manager at the Crush Beauty Bar in Sonoma where Soto worked as a hairstylist.

“They’re two amazing people who didn’t deserve this,” Chavez said Wednesday. Authorities had yet to release the girl’s name or confirm her relationship with Soto.

Chavez said Soto was taking her daughter to school at Sassarini Elementary from their home in Boyes Hot Springs when the crash occurred.

The Ford pickup driver, Jose Manuel Lopez-Perez, 25, of Santa Rosa was seen by witnesses crossing over solid double yellow lines into the eastbound lane to pass other vehicles prior to hitting the Sentra, according to the CHP.

The girl wasn’t breathing when she was pulled from the sedan by bystanders who began to perform CPR, said Sonoma Valley Fire Chief Steve Akre. She was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and later flown to Children’s Hospital Oakland. Hospital officials could not be reached to confirm her condition Wednesday.

Chavez said Adkins was unconscious Wednesday morning with severe swelling in her brain. “I’m praying for a miracle,” she said.

Lopez-Perez was arrested on the suspicion of drunk driving and brought to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Soto had been an employee at Crush Beauty Bar since it opened nearly two years ago and her daughter was a regular presence in the shop often walking from Sassarini Elementary across Fifth Street West to spend afternoons with the hairstylists, Chavez said.

“She’s our number one Crush kid,” Chavez said. “We have her picture all over our website and social media.”

This article will be updated. Check back later.

You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or nick.rahaim@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @nrahaim.