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George A. Palma, a 32-year-old Sebastopol man died Mon., Jan. 4 in a four-vehicle crash on SR-12, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

A CHP press release stated Santa Rosa area CHP officers responded to the incident west of Merced Avenue at about 8:23 a.m.

The initial investigation found that Palma lost control of his Toyota Matrix while driving eastbound on SR-12 and veered into the opposite lane, hitting the left side of a Ford Transit van headed west on SR-12, the press release said.

The Ford then struck the eastbound Acura RDX behind the Toyota and the Toyota then hit a westbound Chevrolet box truck behind the Ford head-on, leading the box truck to flip onto its roof, according to the CHP.

The report Palma was pronounced dead at the scene, while the box truck driver, 24-year-old Kazuhiro Hayashida of Santa Rosa, endured major, but not life-threatening injuries.

The Ford driver, 26-year-old David Cortez of Santa Rosa, had moderate injuries and the Acura driver, 20-year-old Marissa Pendleton of Sebastopol sustained minor injuries and did not receive transportation to a hospital, the press release said.

The Santa Rosa CHP Office will take any information about the incident at 707-588-1400, the press release said.

(2) comments


Really disgusting this guy driving so irresponsibly that he went across the double yellow into oncoming traffic where the speed limit is 50 and people often drive well over that. I live but about a block from this location, Hwy 12 and Merced, and this is the second fatal crash in about 2 months. The previous one, a female driving a Honda was killed, and the other vehicle was, I think, Ford pickup. Some crashes here are people on this highway trying to make a left onto the side street, Merced, when there is heavy traffic, but most are just head-on due to reckless driving and crossing the center line.


That section of 12 is way too dangerous. It needs to have a divider installed or the speed limit needs to be reduced to 45.

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