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Petaluma woman identified as Bodega crash victim

The woman killed in fiery car crash Wednesday night in Bodega was identified Thursday as a 42-year-old Petaluma resident, according to the CHP.

Leah Nicole Johnson was at the wheel of a 2002 Mercedes C320 wagon that went through a stop sign at the intersection of Bodega Highway and Highway 1 smashed head-on into a dirt embankment just down the hill from town. The crash was reported at 8:18 p.m.

The CHP said Johnson, who was on Bodega Highway, was speeding as she approached the intersection and there were no signs of braking. The car rolled onto its side and the engine caught fire.

A close friend of Johnson's was traveling behind her but didn't see the crash, said the CHP. He and another man who stopped to help rolled the sedan onto its wheels.

The men tried to douse the flames with dirt. They also attempted but failed to open the jammed doors.

A Bodega Bay fire engine was first to the crash and arrived at 8:28 p.m., according to Redcom fire dispatch records. Bodega Bay Fire Capt. Justin Fox said arriving firefighters found flames had spread from the engine into the passenger compartment.

While some firefighters began extinguishing the fire others began cutting open the car door to get to the woman, who was pinned underneath the crumpled dash, Fox said.

Paramedics pronounced the woman dead at 8:40 p.m.

Two engines from Bodega volunteers and a Valley Ford volunteer engine also responded.


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