(03-17) 09:32 PDT SANTA ROSA — A driver distracted by a text message on his cell phone is being blamed for a crash on Highway 12 in Santa Rosa that killed two people and left another seriously injured.
Authorities say Nicholoas Tognozzi, 30, admitted that he didn’t see the traffic stop ahead of him because he was looking at his phone. About 5:20 p.m. Saturday, Tognozzi’s truck slammed into the Toyota Camry in front of him, killing Susan Hufford, 53, and Sharon Hufford, 73, according to authorities.
Tognozzi was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of a controlled substance, said California Highway Patrol Officer Kerri Post.
The victims were the wife and mother of the Camry driver, Jay Hufford. Hufford’s father was also injured in the crash.
“Please don’t use your cell phone while driving,” said Post. “This is the worst-case scenario that could happen.”