Santa Rosa, CA (September 10, 2022) – On Tuesday evening, September 6, a hit-and-run crash involving a suspected drunk driver was reported in Santa Rosa that killed one person in Santa Rosa. A 37-year-old man, Charles A. Bernhardy was arrested Wednesday morning, September 7, as a result of this event, following a police investigation.
Emergency personnel was called to the scene of a tragic accident, just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday in which a pickup truck, driven by Bernhardy, rear-ended a motorcycle at full speed. The motorcyclist was violently thrown from his vehicle onto the roadway. The pickup truck did not stop after hitting the motorcycle and continued driving. The motorcycle was lodged underneath the pickup truck and was dragged as the pickup truck continued driving and rear-ended another vehicle, a Honda sedan. The pickup truck continued driving after the second collision and it was reported he drove onto the median, hit a tree and a pole, and continued driving the wrong way traveling west on the eastbound lanes of Fountaingrove Parkway. Bernhardy later left the pickup truck at Fountaingrove and Mendocino Avenue, where he continued to flee on foot.
Paramedics were immediately called. They arrived on the scene within minutes and assessed injuries and provided medical care. The motorcyclist sustained very serious injuries and has been transported to a local hospital for further medical care. Officials report that the motorcyclist is in critical condition. There is no indication at this point as to whether the driver of the Honda sedan sustained any injuries in the accident.
Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash. The driver of the pickup truck, Charles A. Bernhardy, was tracked down Wednesday morning and was arrested and booked into Sonoma County jail. He is charged with DUI causing injury, hit-and-run, with an enhancement for causing great bodily injury, and a misdemeanor charge of hit-and-run in connection to hitting the Honda sedan.
Our thoughts are with the victims injured in this accident. We hope for their full recovery.
Accidents happen every day in California for a variety of reasons. Reckless and negligent driving always tops the list of main causes of accidents. Impaired driving is reckless, negligent, and extraordinarily dangerous. Any time someone chooses to use alcohol or other drugs and then gets behind the wheel, their decision-making, reaction times and driving ability will all be impaired to some degree, depending on how much drugs or alcohol were consumed. When someone is driving impaired, they will often engage in other negligent activities, such as distracted driving, texting while driving, speeding, falling asleep behind the wheel, or failing to abide by traffic rules, such as stopping at traffic lights and stop signs or failing to yield
When someone has severely broken the law and caused a serious accident, sometimes they are fearful of getting caught and will flee the scene of the accident. However, they must be brought to justice for the damage and harm they have caused. Fleeing the scene of an accident does nothing but further compound the problem and leads to greater charges being brought against them. California law clearly states that if a driver is involved in an accident, the driver must pull off the road at the scene of the accident. Failing to stop at the scene of an accident is a punishable offense and will be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense, depending on the circumstances.
If you or a family member were hurt in a DUI accident it’s important to hold the at-fault person responsible for their actions. You should speak to an experienced car accident lawyer right away, who can walk you through the process and help you understand your rights and what compensation you may be entitled to for your suffering. Contact a Santa Rosa car accident attorney by calling (888) 539-3154 to see how we can help you.
Note: This post was created through the use of secondary sources such as state and local news sources, police accident reports, social media platforms, and eyewitness accounts about serious injury accidents that take place in Orange County. The facts surrounding this accident have not been independently verified, therefore, if any information is incorrect, please contact Russell & Lazarus APC, Personal Injury Lawyer so we can update the post with the most accurate information available. We will remove this post upon request.
Disclaimer: This is not a solicitation for business. None of the information in this post is intended to be medical or legal advice. The photo used in this post was not taken at the actual accident scene.