Woman who died in wrong-way crash on Hwy 101 identified


A woman who was killed by a wrong-way driver on U.S. Highway 101 in Marin County early in the  morning Aug. 19 was identified as 63-year-old Sachiko Umehara of Santa Rosa, according to the Marin County coroner’s office.

Umehara, co-owner of Momiji Nursery in Santa Rosa, was driving north on the highway in the fast lane when her 2000 Honda Odyssey minivan was struck head-on by a woman driving the wrong way in a 2006 Mercedes E350 around 1:10 a.m., according to a preliminary report by the California Highway Patrol.

The damaged vehicles were blocking both lanes of the highway north of the San Antonio Road over-crossing when they were struck by a northbound 2014 Dodge Ram delivery van, CHP Officer Andrew Barclay said.

Umehara and Collier had to be extricated from their vehicles with the Jaws of Life device.

The Mercedes driver, 47-year-old Santa Rosa resident Kristine Collier, suffered major injuries and was flown to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa. Collier was arrested at the hospital for DUI when CHP officers determined she had been driving under the influence of alcohol, Barclay said.

The 35 year-old delivery truck driver suffered minor injuries and was taken to Marin General Hospital.

Umehara suffered major injuries and she was pronounced dead at 5:14 a.m. at Marin General Hospital. Her family said it was too soon to talk about the fatal collision on the afternoon of Aug. 19.

Sachiko Umehara and her husband Michael have been operating the Momiji Nursery, that specializes in Japanese Maples, for 30 years, according to the nursery’s Website.

Northbound traffic was diverted onto San Antonio Road. One lane of the highway reopened at 2:24 a.m. and both lanes were open around 4:20 a.m.

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