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Driver Charged with Murder for Fatal Vehicle Crash

Rafael Prieto-Gonzalez, 23, is being held under no bail in the Sonoma County jail and will return to court Monday.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
By Bay City News

The Sonoma County District Attorney's Office this afternoon charged a Santa Rosa man with murder for a solo-vehicle crash that killed a Saint Helena man in Rohnert Park on Friday.

Rafael Prieto-Gonzalez, 23, did not enter a plea in Sonoma County Superior Court. He is being held under no bail in the Sonoma County jail and will return to court Monday.

Prieto-Gonzalez lost control of a 2000 Ford Explorer on northbound Commerce Boulevard around 8 p.m. Friday evening, the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety said.

The SUV slammed broadside into a tree, killing passenger Abel Acosta, 44, of Saint Helena.

Witnesses said the driver fled the vehicle and hid in a nearby neighborhood. Rohnert Park public safety officers found Prieto-Gonzalez who had injuries consistent with a crash, Sgt. Aaron Johnson said.

Prieto-Gonzalez was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was taken to a hospital before he was booked in the Sonoma County jail.

Prieto-Gonzalez has a prior DUI conviction, Deputy District Attorney Anne Masterson said.

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