The Press Democrat reports a suspected drunk driver injured a Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputy as he was pulling over a driver along Lakeville Highway in Petaluma early Monday.
In a statement by California Highway Patrol Officer David deRutte, the incident happened just after 2:00 a.m. when a deputy in a Dodge Charger patrol cruiser pulled over a Mercedes Benz 1350 in the southbound lanes of Lakeville Highway.
The deputy had activated his patrol lights when the driver of a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck rear-ended the patrol cruiser. The force of the impact threw the deputy’s vehicle into the rear end of the Mercedes. The patrol cruiser and the Mercedes were pushed down a dirt embankment into a fence.
The Sheriff’s deputy suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to an area hospital for treatment. The driver of the Mercedes and the suspect driver were also taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Both are expected to be ok.
Both the deputy and the driver of the Mercedes were wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash.
The suspect driver has been identified as 28-year-old Joel Rodriguez. A toxicology test revealed that Rodriguez was driving with a blood alcohol level greater than the legal limit of .08 percent. He was released and booked into the Sonoma County Jail on a felony charge of DUI causing injury.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office posted a statement on Facebook expressing gratitude that their deputy survived the crash and wished him a speedy recovery.