Infant injured in head-on DUI crash

March 3, 2010 12:30:59 PM PST
A Santa Rosa man was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence Tuesday evening in connection with a head-on crash that seriously injured two people, including an infant, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.

Faustino Vega-Xicohtencatl, 24, of Santa Rosa, was driving a 2004 Ford F-150 west on Mark West Springs Road north of Santa Rosa when the crash happened at about 6:25 p.m., according to the CHP.

Witnesses told investigators Vega-Xicohtencatl was tailgating and trying to pass slower traffic, CHP Officer Jon Sloat said.

After rounding a curve onto a short straightaway, he crossed into the eastbound lane and struck a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer head-on near Quietwater Road, Sloat said. Both cars were traveling at about 45 mph, Sloat said.

The Mercury, driven by Carron M. Boyd, 21, of Clearlake Oaks, spun out and struck a nearby hillside and the Ford came to rest in the roadway, Sloat said.

Marty Lee Nelson, 52, of Hidden Valley, was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt behind the Mercury. He steered to the right and braked to avoid the crash but struck debris in the roadway, Sloat said. He was not injured.

Boyd suffered major head injuries and was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. She was in critical condition this morning, hospital spokeswoman Vanessa DeGier said.

A passenger in the Mercury, Randal C. Hinojosa, 22, of Clearlake Oaks, suffered minor injuries. His 8-month-old daughter, Allesandrya Hinojosa, suffered severe head injuries and was taken to Sutter Medical Center in Santa Rosa but was transferred to Oakland Children's Hospital. Her condition was not immediately available this morning.

Vega-Xicohtencatl complained of pain and was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Sloat said he was extremely intoxicated and claimed he had picked up a hitchhiker who was driving but who fled after the crash.

Sloat said, however, that it was determined Vega-Xicohtenhcatl himself was driving. He was booked into Sonoma County jail on two charges of felony DUI and driving without a license.