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Sonoma daughter, mom killed in Hwy. 12 collision

Two women from Sonoma lost their lives in a car crash on Jan. 4, the first Monday morning after the New Year’s weekend.

According to a CHP report from the Santa Rosa area California Highway Patrol, the two women—Alondra Bandt Valero, 21, and her mother Tomasa Valero Vargas, 44— were westbound in a black Nissan Sentra on a rainy Highway 12 just east of Oakmont Drive at 8:20 a.m. The younger woman was at the wheel.

“The driver of the Nissan lost control in a curved portion of the roadway and crossed into the opposing lane,” said the release from the CHP.

Coming westbound from the other direction was a white Chevrolet truck, driven by Michael Williams, 60, of Santa Rosa. “The Nissan was sideways in the lane and directly in the path of the Chevrolet. The front of the Chevrolet collided into the right side of the Nissan.”

Santa Rosa firefighters were on the scene of the crash within four minutes. The driver and her mother were removed from the vehicle with hydraulic equipment and pronounced dead at the scene, battalion chief Matthew Gloeckner said.

Williams, the driver of the Chevy truck, was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with moderate injuries.

It was thought that the rainy conditions of the roadway may have had something to do with the Nissan’s loss of control. While the front tires of the Sentra had plenty of tread, Santa Rosa CHP spokesman officer David deRutte said, officers noticed that the car’s rear tires “didn’t have a ton of traction on them.”

Tomasa Valero Vargas, known by many by the nickname “Tomy,” was a seamstress for Bright Event Rentals in Sonoma. She had two other children, Kassandra Bandt, 14, and Alan Bandt, 17. She and their father Eduardo Bandt divorced about two years ago.

The oldest daughter, Alonda, who died in the collision with her mother, was a Sonoma State University student.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up by a family friend, Yartizy Pineda, to raise money for the families of the two women, at to gofundme.com/f/expenses-of-my-friend-alondra-mom-funeral to contribute.

Witnesses, or anyone with information regarding this crash, are asked to call the Santa Rosa CHP Office at (707) 588-1400.

Austin Murphy and Nashelly Chavez contributed to this report.

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