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Wreck at 101/Rowland Closes Offramp, Access to Vintage Oaks

Report of crash came in at 8:37 am., prompting a large response from police, fire and CHP personnel. Lanes were reopened at 9:17 a.m.

A 46-year-old Novato man was arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated Tuesday after a two-truck crash near Vintage Oaks shopping center, said.

Bail was set at $250,000 for Sidney Hartnett, who was behind the wheel of a Ford pickup that careened over a median at the intersection of Rowland Way and Rowland Boulevard and struck another truck at about 8:31 a.m.

Hartnett had been arrested Monday on suspicion of DUI after another collision in Novato, police said. At 2:24 p.m. Monday, Hartnett struck a parked car and a light pole in the parking lot of . The increased bail was requested by Novato police Tuesday because of the back-to-back arrests.

The northbound Highway 101 offramp at Rowland Boulevard and eastbound Rowland heading into the Vintage Oaks shopping center were shut down for about 40 minutes because of wreck, sources said. The California Highway Patrol closed the offramp at 8:47 a.m., 10 minutes after the emergency report was made.  Lanes were reopened at 9:17 a.m, according to a CHP dispatcher.

Captain Alex Bowlds of the said the man later identified as Hartnett drove south on Rowland Way in a white pickup truck and into the intersection at Rowland Boulevard, striking a rescue truck from the state Office of Emergency Services.

Hartnett was transported to Kaiser hospital in Terra Linda for observation for minor injuries. The occupant of the OES truck suffered a minor injury as well.

Several employees at , located at the same corner, heard the crash impact and watched from an office window. Moylan's sales manager Curtis Cassidy said he saw a large white pickup sitting on eastbound Rowland Boulevard said the pickup truck driver took out the sign for the hospital that's on the median and then hit the other truck waiting at the red light.

"(The pickup) stayed in gear and full-throttle, and the tires kept spinning," Cassidy said. "For a while, we couldn't even see the two trucks because there was so much white smoke."

Cassidy said the truck's tires spun until there was no rubber left, then the wheels grinded into the asphalt for another minute before the engine was shut off. Bowlds said the spinning wheel caught fire and dug a rut in the pavement.

Several employees from Novato-based Fire King Fire Protection were inspecting equipment at Moylan's at the time, and Cassidy said one of Fire King technicians, Justin Olaisman, ran over with a fire extinguisher to douse flames from the spinning wheels.

Bob April 10, 2012 at 04:30 PM
It sure would be nice to have a second means of entrance and exit to the Vintage Oaks shopping area and Novato Community Hospital!!! The City Council didn't think that was important when they approved the Hanna Ranch Development without requiring access from Hwy 37.
Novato Chess Club April 10, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Right after the Sunrise Rotary meeting.....what a site to see!

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