General Crime

* Maribel Raya Sonoma State University Student’s Fatal Crash Continues To Be Investigated

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The California Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate what caused a crash early Saturday morning that killed a 19-year-old Sonoma State University student. Maribel Raya, of Olivehurst, was a passenger in a 2010 Mazda M3 that crashed at about 1:40 a.m. on U.S. Highway 101, south of Todd Road. The car veered off the roadway and struck a tree, killing Raya, who was not wearing a seat belt. Raya was sitting in the backseat of the car with Arnaldo Salazar, 20, of Santa Rosa, Sgt. Robert Mota said Wednesday. Salazar suffered a broken neck and broken arms in the crash. The driver of the Mazda, Alejandra Meza, 19, of Rohnert Park, and the front-seat passenger, Alejandro Cano, 19, of Santa Rosa, were wearing seat belts, Mota said.Cano suffered minor injuries. Meza was also injured but was discharged from Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital on Monday, hospital spokeswoman Katy Hillenmeyer said.The CHP is investigating whether driver fatigue, inattention or
distraction caused the crash. He said the accident happened within minutes of the group leaving a Santa Rosa apartment complex. There is no indication Meza was drinking alcohol, Mota said.Mota said “there is some indication of an electrical failure” in the Mazda in the past, but “not on that night.” The Mazda has been impounded as part of the investigation, Mota said.He said Meza should still have been able to steer and stop the Mazda if an electrical failure had occurred.The CHP is interviewing the three survivors to learn what happened in the moments before the crash, Mota said. SSU president Ruben Arminana issued a statement Tuesday praising Raya as “a well-known and loved Equal Opportunity Program student.””She was known to many on campus, as she was a student assistant in the Disability Services for Students office,” Arminana said A candlelight memorial was held at SSU in Raya’s honor Wednesday night.

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