Sonoma Valley crash injures six, including local winemaker

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Six Sonoma residents were injured in a two-vehicle collision on Broadway near Watmaugh Road Sunday, after a driver crossed the double yellow lines.

Two helicopters, four ambulances, two fire agencies and the CHP responded to the Jan. 13 crash, which occurred about 6:10 p.m.

Driver Ty Randol Caton, 48, proprietor and winemaker at Ty Caton Vineyards, was northbound on Broadway in clear, dry conditions when his 2016 Range Rover drifted into the opposite lane, striking a 2013 Chevrolet Captiva SUV head-on. Five people were in the Chevrolet.

Driver Martin Arias Barajas, 52, was trapped in the wreckage and cut free by firefighters before being airlifted by helicopter to Kaiser Hospital in Vacaville. Barajas suffered major injuries, according to the CHP, and was the most seriously hurt of the six victims. A passenger in the back seat was also freed by first responders. Maria Celina Barajas, 45, was flown to Queen of the Valley Hospital in Napa by CHP helicopter. Three other passengers, Lucy Barrera, 52, Miriam Nolazco, 18, and a 15-year-old juvenile were transported to Queen of the Valley Hospital by Sonoma County Fire.

In addition to the two individuals trapped in the SUV, fire fighters freed Caton from the wreck, according to Schell-Vista Fire Chief Ray Mulas. He was taken by ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with moderate injuries. Caton owns and operates Ty Caton Vineyards and a tasting room in Kenwood. He and his wife, Kristen, have two young children.

The accident closed Broadway for over an hour as the normally busy roadway was littered with debris. Two rescue helicopters used a nearby empty lot to land and load victims for transport.

Sonoma resident Charlotte Gallaway, who witnessed the crash, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat that she was driving ahead of the crash and happened to look in her rearview mirror as the collision occurred. “I just saw his headlights drift into the oncoming lane,” Gallaway said.

She said she stopped and called 911 before running back to assist. People from homes and businesses near Wine Country Garden Center, the straight stretch of road where the collision occurred, emerged to help also, according to Gallaway.

“It was bad,” Gallaway said of the accident scene. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

All parties in both vehicles were wearing seat belts, and drugs and alcohol were not a contributing factor, according to Napa CHP public information officer Marc Renspurger. The cause of the collision remains under investigation.

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