A passenger killed in a wreck in San Rafael on Sunday was identified as a 66-year-old Ukiah woman whose husband was at the wheel, authorities said Monday.
Pamela Rones was pronounced dead in the wreckage of the crash. Her widower, 72-year-old David Dickey, remained hospitalized with potentially life-threatening injuries.
The California Highway Patrol is still investigating why Dickey lost control of his car, hitting one vehicle and then crashing on top of another, but intoxication is not suspected as a cause.
The incident occurred at about 2:15 p.m. Sunday along northbound Highway 101 just south of the exit to Lucas Valley Road and Smith Ranch Road.
Witnesses told police that Dickey’s Toyota was weaving erratically and unable to stay in its lane, said CHP Officer Andrew Barclay. It veered out of the fast lane, struck a pickup truck and spun out of control, hurtling off the freeway.
The Toyota hit a dirt embankment, launched through a chain-link fence and landed on top of a Cadillac Escalade SUV on the Redwood Highway Frontage Road. Then it came to rest in the street.
The driver of the Escalade, 53-year-old Maria Alvarado of Santa Venetia, was hospitalized with major injuries that were not considered life-threatening.
The crash forced police to close several lanes of Highway 101 and restrict traffic on the frontage road, causing extensive congestion for several hours.
Dickey and Rones were on their way home from a vacation in Mexico when the crash occurred. Rones was a certified public accountant with an office in Ukiah. Dickey is a West Point graduate and decorated Vietnam veteran who served on the city planning commission and ran for City Council, according to the Ukiah Daily Journal.
Their daughter is an elementary school teacher at Grace Hudson Elementary School in Ukiah. Their son was struck and killed by a car in the late 1990s in Holland, where he was a soccer player. His parents started the Ryan Rones Dickey Memorial Soccer Fund to provide financial assistance to young soccer players.
“They just want to do good for people, and they did,” said Shane Huff, a soccer coach at Mendocino College and for a youth academy with ties to the scholarship fund. “They’re just good people. The world lost one very special woman and hopefully Dave can hold on.”