Juan Padilla‑Lopez Arrested After Fatal DUI Hit-and-Run in Santa Rosa
SANTA ROSA, CA (August 14, 2019) – Officers arrested a Santa Rosa man following a fatal DUI hit-and-run crash on Highway 101 Monday night.
The California Highway Patrol identified him as 33-year-old Juan Padilla‑Lopez. Padilla‑Lopez was the driver of an Infinity SUV involved in the collision on Highway 101.
The initial crash occurred before 11:00 p.m. Padilla‑Lopez drove northbound on the highway when he rear-ended a motorcycle near Bicentennial Way.
The Infinity and the motorcycle stopped in the middle lane. After that, Padilla‑Lopez and his passenger got out of the Infinity.
Padilla‑Lopez went to the side of the highway and ran southward. However, his passenger got hit by a Toyota Land Cruiser as he stood outside the Infinity.
The Toyota driver saw the motorcycle and the Infinity in the lane and swerved to avoid them. However, her vehicle then hit the right back corner of the Infinity and the passenger.
Witnesses reported that one man was in the roadway and another fled the scene. As a result, a Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter joined the pursuit for Padilla‑Lopez. They located him at a Steele Lane gas station. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and hit-and-run.
Padilla‑Lopez’s passenger died at the scene. However, officials did not release the victim’s name.
The motorcyclist, 72-year-old Andre Russell of Windsor, did not sustain any injury.
18-year-old Mercedes Allende of Ukiah was driving the Toyota. She stopped and cooperated with the investigation. However, she was not impaired at the time.
We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the loved ones of the victim.
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