NAPA COUNTY (KCBS) — A 4-year-old boy was killed in a head-on collision between two SUVs near a Napa valley winery on Sunday that sent four others to the hospital, including the boy’s mother who, suffered major injuries and famed Bay Area chef, Cindy Pawlcyn.
The collision was reported at about 3:30 p.m. on state Highway 121 and state Highway 12 near the intersection with Duhig Road in the vicinity of numerous wineries, a California Highway Patrol official said.
Witnesses said the Chevrolet Equinox SUV, in which the boy and his mother were passengers, crossed over the double-yellow lines and collided with an oncoming Lexus RX 450 head on.
“Both vehicles were at or near the speed limit — there was almost no braking except maybe a last-second swerve,” he said. “They hit almost front license plate to front license plate; it was about as head-on as you can get. They may have tried to swerve but there was no time to get out of the way,” CHP spokesman Jaret Paulson told the Napa Valley Register.
Emergency response workers performed CPR on the boy, who was then transported by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office helicopter to Queen of the Valley Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at the hospital, Paulson reported Sunday night.
The driver of the Chevy Equinox was 23-year-old Flavio Castellanos of Napa.
Chef and restaurateur Pawlcyn and her husband John Watanabe were the occupants in the Lexus and both suffered major injuries.
Pawlcyn owns restaurants in St. Helena including Go Fish, Brassica and her eponymously named Wood Grill & Wine Bar. The Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef has also been also opened Mustards in Yountville, the Fog City Diner in San Francisco among others.
Paulson said the boy was strapped into a car seat and the occupants of both vehicles were wearing seatbelts and that there was no indication of alcohol or drug use by either driver.