SANTA ROSA, Calif. – A car raced through a red light and slammed into a minivan broadside, killing four family members including both parents and their two young children in Northern California, authorities said Sunday.
A Mini Cooper driven by a 20-year-old man first clipped a car that was stopped for the light at the intersection of Highway 37 and Lakeville Highway and then smashed into the minivan late Saturday night near Novato, about 30 miles north of San Francisco, the California Highway Patrol said.
All occupants of the minivan — the mother, father and a son and a daughter between 6 and 10 years old — were killed. Their names were not available early Sunday.
The driver of the Mini Cooper was hospitalized in critical condition. He was from nearby Lakeport but wasn't further identified.
The minivan was rendered nearly unrecognizable by the collision.
The Mini Cooper also struck a sedan waiting at the light and three people in that vehicle were hospitalized in Novato with injuries, according to the highway patrol.
"He clipped two vehicles and broadsided the family of four," said Sgt. Trent Cross. "Right now there is no evidence of drugs or alcohol. That could change later, but right now, there is no evidence."
Two medical helicopters and the Sonoma County coroner were called to the scene. The driver of the Mini Cooper was taken by helicopter to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. He was the sole occupant of the car.
Traffic in the area came to a standstill and was backed up for hours.
The Saturday night crash had the highest death toll since the 2007 crash on Highway 101 in Santa Rosa that killed five members of a Windsor family.