Police in Petaluma say the accident happened shortly after 10 p.m. on Saturday on Lakeville Highway at the South McDowell Boulevard Extension. A gold 2005 Lincoln driven by Jesse Cockrill, 25, was traveling west when the vehicle swerved into oncoming lanes of traffic. The Lincoln collided head-on with a 1994 silver Toyota Camry.
The driver of the Camry, described as a 65-year-old woman from Vallejo, Calif. died at the scene. Also in the Camry was an eight-year-old girl who was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. Cockrill was also hospitalized with major injuries and is listed in critical condition.
Police suspect Cockrill of driving under the influence of alcohol. Emergency crews found an open container of alcohol in the vehicle and noted a strong odor of alcohol on Cockrill. Toxicology results are pending.
According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, there were 803 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in California in 2012. Of those deaths, 97 involved drivers under the age of 21. An estimated 72.4 percent of fatal dui accidents that year involved drivers with a BAC of .15 or higher. Of those drivers, 79.1 percent were repeat offenders. A total of 172,345 people in California were arrested for DUI in 2012.