A Petaluma man was released from the hospital and then arrested Monday after toxicology test results revealed he had a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit when his vehicle struck another vehicle head-on, killing a Vallejo woman and injuring her 8-year-old daughter in Petaluma last month, police said.

Petaluma police said 65-year-old Vallejo resident Betty Osotonu died when a gold 2005 Lincoln LS driven by 25-year-old Petaluma resident Jesse Martin Cockrill struck the silver 1994 Toyota Camry she was driving head-on around 10:07 p.m. on Lakeview Highway, police said.

Toxicology results for Cockrill came back from the Department of Justice Crime Lab and revealed that he had a .16 percent blood alcohol content, twice the legal limit of .08 percent, at the time of the collision, police said.

Cockrill was also on probation from a previous arrest and the terms of his probation listed "no alcohol," according to police.

Petaluma police officers went to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital today as Cockrill was being released following treatment for injuries he suffered in the collision.

Cockrill was subsequently arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter and felony drunk driving causing major injury, police said.

He was booked into Sonoma County Jail with bail set at $485,000, police said.

According to the police investigation, the night of the crash, Cockrill was driving west on Lakeville Highway between Frates Road and Browns Lane when his vehicle crossed the center double yellow lines striking the Toyota traveling in the opposite direction head-on.


Advertisement

Osotonu was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision and her young daughter, who was a passenger in the Toyota during the crash, was hospitalized with minor injuries, according to police.

Cockrill suffered major injuries in the crash and remained hospitalized until today, police said.

An open container of alcohol was found inside Cockrill's vehicle following the crash and emergency medical personnel reported smelling a strong odor of alcohol coming from Cockrill.

Petaluma police said this was the city's first traffic-related fatality of 2014.

Thus far in 2014, police have arrested 113 DUI drivers, representing a 24 percent increase in DUI arrests compared to the same period last year, police said.

Witnesses to the collision are asked to contact Traffic Officer Matt Capitelli at (707) 776-3721.



Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, re-transmission or reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.