Sebastopol man dead after four-vehicle crash on Highway 12

By Camille Escovedo, Staff Writer, Sonoma West Times & News, January 6, 2021

george palma

George A. Palma died on Jan. 4 in a crash on Hwy. 12. (Photo from his Facebook page)

George A. Palma, a 32-year-old Sebastopol man, died Mon., Jan. 4 in a four-vehicle crash on Highway 12, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

A CHP press release stated Santa Rosa area CHP officers responded to the incident west of Merced Avenue at about 8:23 a.m.

The initial investigation found that Palma lost control of his Toyota Matrix while driving eastbound on Highway and veered into the opposite lane, hitting the left side of a Ford Transit van headed west on Highway 12, the press release said.

The Ford then struck the eastbound Acura RDX behind the Toyota and the Toyota then hit a westbound Chevrolet box truck behind the Ford head-on, leading the box truck to flip onto its roof, according to the CHP.

The report Palma was pronounced dead at the scene, while the box truck driver, 24-year-old Kazuhiro Hayashida of Santa Rosa, endured major, but not life-threatening injuries.

The Ford driver, 26-year-old David Cortez of Santa Rosa, had moderate injuries and the Acura driver, 20-year-old Marissa Pendleton of Sebastopol sustained minor injuries and did not receive transportation to a hospital, the press release said.

The Santa Rosa CHP Office will take any information about the incident at 707-588-1400, the press release said.

This article was produced by Sonoma West Times & News, the hometown newspaper of Sebastopol and west county since 1889. See more news at