Category Archives: North Bay News

Driver Dies After Plunging 600 Feet Off Cliff In Mt. Tamalpais State Park

MARIN COUNTY (CBS SF) — A male driver was killed Saturday morning when his vehicle plunged 600 feet off a cliff in Mt. Tamalpais State Park, a fire spokesman said.

At about 10:12 a.m., a hiker reported that a four-door sedan haddriven off a cliff on Ridgecrest Boulevard in the park, Marin County fire battalion chief Bret McTigue said.

The car landed 600 feet below the roadway. A Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter staged a rescue operation along with local fire crews.The victim was airlifted to the roadway and pronounced dead. He was the only occupant of the vehicle.

No other information was immediately available.

Driver Arrested On Suspicion Of DUI After Flipping Vehicle In Rohnert Park

ROHNERT PARK (CBS SF) — A 38-year-old Santa Rosa man was arrested Friday night on suspicion of DUI and violating his probation after the car he was driving flipped onto its side in Rohnert Park, police said.

Rohnert Park police were alerted at 10:11 p.m. to an overturned vehicle on Redwood Drive just north of Commerce Boulevard. Witnesses told them that a man had exited the vehicle and was walking away from the scene as other people were chasing after him.

Officers found a Chevy Suburban on its side lying partially on the roadway and the driver a short distance from the vehicle. Police determined that David Dudley, 38, had been driving the Suburban north on Redwood Road when it suddenly veered to the right, going over the curb and rolling onto the passenger side. He climbed out of a broken window and started walking away as witnesses chased after him.

Officers noticed signs of alcohol intoxication and discovered that Dudley was on probation for DUI with terms requiring him to have an interlock device installed in his vehicle, police said in a news release. It was determined that he had a blood-alcohol content level of 0.12 percent, over
the legal limit.

Dudley, who also was arrested on suspicion of driving with a suspended license and without an interlock device, was taken to a hospital to be evaluated for possible injuries and then booked into Sonoma County Jail.

Rebuilding Ramps Up In Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park 17 Months After Wildfire

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF / AP) — An official says that 17 months after a massive wildfire destroyed hundreds of homes in a Wine Country neighborhood, 70 percent of the properties are under construction or have been rebuilt.

Gabe Osburn, Santa Rosa’s deputy director of development services, tells the Press Democrat reconstruction in Coffey Park has ramped up in recent months.

Coffey Park Rebuilding

A house being rebuilt in Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park neighborhood after the deadly North Bay wildfires. (CBS)

An October 2017 fire destroyed 1,422 homes in the working-class community in Santa Rosa.

By October 2018, a year after the fire, only 21 houses had been rebuilt and 520 were under construction. Today, 191 homes in Coffey Park have been completed, while another 689 are under construction.

Jeff Okrepkie, president and founder of neighborhood support group Coffey Strong, says he expects some 700 rebuilt homes to be occupied by midsummer.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pedestrian Killed On Deadly Stretch Of Santa Rosa Road

SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — A pedestrian was fatally struck early Wednesday on Santa Rosa’s Stony Point Road — the fourth fatality on the roadway since last summer.

Santa Rosa police said the man was crossing Stony Point near Barndance Lane at 7 a.m. when he was struck by a silver Chevrolet Cruze.

The force of the impact threw the man into a mailbox, impaled his backpack into front fender of the car and sent one of his shoes airborne across the street.

The car, meanwhile, suffered a broken windshield and front end damage.

Investigators said that the driver, Esteban Garcia Martinez, an 18-year-old resident of Santa Rosa, was northbound on Stony Point Road. It was dark and raining heavily at the time and Martinez was traveling approximately 40 mph.

Based on Martinez’s and witnesses’ statements, the pedestrian was crossing Stony Point Road from west to east. He was not in a designated crosswalk. Martinez immediately stopped his vehicle just north of where he collided with the victim and was cooperating with police.

Several motorists called 911 to report the crash and arriving officers discovered the man lifeless on the roadway. Paramedics declared him dead at the scene.

The victim has been identified as Richard Anthony Burns, a 53-year-old resident of Santa Rosa. Autopsy results will indicate if drugs or alcohol were a factor in the collision.

Martinez was not impaired at the time of the collision. Police said that Burns was walking outside of the crosswalk at the time of the accident.

The major westside city route was closed for several hours. It has been the scene of multiple fatal pedestrian crashes in the last several months.

Max Lippincott lived with Burns as his housemate.

“Yeah we joke like we’re playing Frogger. We joked, but it’s not funny anymore,” said Lippencott ruefully.

Lippincott used to laugh about the danger of crossing Stony Point Road to and from the nearby market.

“Normally, what we do is come to the end of the sidewalk, which they need to continue,” said Lippincott.

The sidewalk on the road literally ends. On the other side of the road, there is no sidewalk at all. And there is no crosswalk on the street for the better part of a mile.

This kind of situation, a road that simply does not make much sense for pedestrians, appears to be claiming lives.

“I’ve been in the Traffic Division for almost three years. I can tell you we’ve had a significant increase in pedestrian fatalities,” said Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Summer Gloeckner.

Stony Point Road has seen its share of those fatal accidents, including three in late 2018 near the Occidental intersection. Gloeckner acknowledges that the infrastructure surrounding this road is not pedestrian friendly.

“This is more of a rural area,” she said. “The sidewalk only goes so far. Further south ,you go kind of the more county environment.”

And yet this is the direction people are building, moving and living. For anyone not in a car, good luck getting around.

“Yeah, trying to walk and bike — in this area anyway — it’s a dangerous,” said Lippincott, now handling the loss of her housemate.  “We heard the sirens and stuff. No clue that it was him.”

Report: Marin County Residents Healthiest In All Of California

(CBS SF) — A report released Tuesday found that Marin County residents are the healthiest and live the longest of residents of any county in California.

The 2019 County Health Rankings by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation evaluate counties across the U.S. on the health of residents and
how long they live.

The rankings are based on a number of categories such as length and quality of life, health factors and access to health care, socio-economic factors, and physical environment.

Marin County residents had the highest life expectancy of any county in California, followed closely behind by San Mateo and Santa Clara
counties.

While Marin County scored high on most health measurements, its health profile suffers from weaknesses in housing affordability, high rates of substance use, income inequality and racial disparities in health, according to county officials.

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the burden of high housing costs is tied to poor health.

The California counties which rounded out the bottom of the list of 58 were Modoc, Siskiyou and Lake counties.

© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.