Homeless woman and dog, asleep in parked car, killed by drunk driver, CA police say

A homeless woman and her dog sleeping in a parked car died early Monday when an accused drunk driver plowed into the vehicle, police in Santa Rosa, California, say.

The crash took place at 3 a.m. on Hoen Avenue near Cypress Avenue, police wrote in a release.

A black Dodge Challenger driven by Angel Ivan Martinez, 21, of Santa Rosa crashed into a white Mazda SUV and a black Toyota Prius, police wrote. The crash pushed the Mazda into a nearby front yard.

“Speeding was a factor,” said Sgt. Summer Gloeckner with Santa Rosa police, KPIX reported. “It looks like when he struck the first parked car with the female victim inside, he also sheered a telephone pole and then hit another parked car.”

Police believe the woman and dog, who were asleep in the Mazda, had been living out of the vehicle, officers reported. No one was inside the Prius.

Police said Martinez, whom they found nearby, showed “signs of intoxication” and determined he was under the influence of alcohol.

He faces charges including vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence and driving under the influence, police reported.

The crash also cut power to more than 500 customers, KGO reported.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.