Though the elderly are often overrepresented as wrong way drivers, the greater majority of wrong way drivers are intoxicated. The National Traffic Safety Bureau found that as many as half and potentially as many as three-quarters of wrong way drivers are intoxicated. These types of accidents are more often than not fatal, probably because of the speeds and the head-on collisions making these accidents more serious. More wrong way accidents also tend to occur during the overnight hours and on weekends, the times when there are usually more intoxicated drivers on the roadways. The Press Democrat reports on a fatal wrong-way collision on Highway 101.
On Friday night, 53-year-old Sherry Risch was driving a 2005 Kia Rio south in the northbound lanes of Highway 101. She crashed into the left side of an oncoming Honda Odyssey. The crash occurred near Airport Boulevard.
Shortly after that crash, a man driving a 2016 BMW motorcycle crashed into the disabled Kia. He was thrown from the motorcycle and died from his injuries.
Risch suffered from moderate injuries in the crash and was taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. She was later arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while under the influence of drugs.
The driver of the Odyssey, identified as 44-year-old Phim Kho had moderate injuries and was taken to Memorial Hospital. His passenger, 59-year-old Yu Kwong suffered from injuries that required immediate surgery. He was also taken to Memorial Hospital.
The chain-reaction crashes closed Highway 101 for approximately four hours before it was reopened.