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Petaluma woman identified as Bodega crash victim

A woman killed in a Bodega car crash Wednesday night was identified Thursday as a 42-year-old Petaluma resident, according to the CHP.

Leah Nicole Johnson crashed at the intersection of Bodega Highway and Highway 1, just down the hill from town. The crash was reported at 8:18 p.m.

The CHP said Johnson was speeding as she approached the intersection. She didn’t stop for the stop sign and there were no signs of brake skids.

Her 2002 Mercedes C320 wagon crossed Highway 1 and smashed head on into a dirt embankment. The car rolled onto its side and the engine caught fire.

Johnson’s fiance was travelling behind her but didn’t see the crash occur, said the CHP.

He and another man who stopped to help rolled the sedan onto its wheels.

The men tried to douse the flames with dirt. They also attempted to open the jammed doors but couldn’t get to the woman.

A Bodega Bay fire engine was first to the crash and arrived at 8:28 p.m., according to Redcom fire dispatch records.

Bodega Bay Fire Capt. Justin Fox said arriving firefighters found flames had spread from the engine into the passenger compartment.

While some firefighters began extinguishing the fire others began cutting the car door to get to the woman, who was pinned underneath the crumpled dash, Fox said.

Paramedics pronounced the woman dead at 8:40 p.m.

Two engines from Bodega volunteers and a Valley Ford volunteer engine also responded. A medical helicopter initially started to respond but was cancelled due to weather.

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