Myspace Doesn't End At Death

Cajo Phelan, 17

Greg Kubeck, 16

Adrianna DeLaTorre, 18 -- Car Accident

E-mail this post


All personal information that you provide here will be governed by the Privacy Policy of More...


Four students at two Petaluma high schools were killed Tuesday when their car was broadsided by a truck on the outskirts of town.

Belle and Sciutto were among hundreds of students and teachers who hugged, wept and consoled each other in the wake of what, for most of them, is the worst tragedy in their lives.

"They were awesome people," Belle, a Casa Grande senior, said as she fought back tears. "They were the best friends you could have."

"Even people who didn't know them are crying," Sciutto added.

The accident happened at about 4:10 p.m. Tuesday at a T intersection where East Washington Street meets Adobe Road on the outskirts of Petaluma.

Adobe Road is a two-lane county road running past farms, dairies and a few vineyards. As Highway 101 has grown more jammed, Adobe Road has become more popular with commuters. Many believe that has contributed to a large increase in the number of accidents on rural back roads in Marin and Sonoma counties, including Adobe.

Six students were traveling east on East Washington Street in a 1996 Ford Taurus driven by Adrianna DeLaTorre, 18, of Petaluma. DeLaTorre was making a left turn onto Adobe Road, apparently on her way to drop off her friend, Christina Ramirez, 19, at her Rohnert Park home before going Christmas shopping.

California Highway Patrol Sgt. Wayne Ziese said DeLaTorre pulled directly in front of a southbound delivery truck driven by Jonathan Dougherty, 26, of Acampo, which slammed into the side of her car.

"They pulled right in front of it and took the full force of the impact," Ziese said. "Witnesses have relayed that there was nothing he could do."

The crash killed DeLaTorre and Ramirez, both seniors at San Antonio High School, a continuation school in Petaluma, and Greg Kubeck, 16, and Cajo Phelan, 17, of Petaluma, both juniors at Casa Grande.

Michaela Jones, 16, of Petaluma was rushed to Petaluma Valley Hospital with serious injuries, and Adrianna's brother, Miguel DeLaTorre, a 17-year-old junior at Casa Grande, was taken to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, where he was listed Wednesday evening in fair condition.

Dougherty was not seriously hurt.

There is no evidence that DeLaTorre ran the stop sign or that Dougherty was driving faster than the 55 mph speed limit and, Ziese said, there were no obvious signs of drug or alcohol use.

It is not clear whether DeLaTorre's car stalled, whether she didn't see the truck or whether she was distracted in some way, Ziese said. Investigators are putting together a 24-hour profile of DeLaTorre to determine what factors might have contributed to the crash, such as lack of sleep or health problems.



Search DeathSpace