A visitor from Australia caused a head-on crash Tuesday on Calistoga Road when he mistakenly drove on the wrong side of the road, according to the CHP.
It was one of two crashes Tuesday morning on Calistoga Road, which sent five people to a hospital with minor injuries.
The Australian driver, who wasn’t identified, got into a rented SUV at about 8:55 a.m. He began driving east in the westbound lane, as he would in his country, said CHP Officer Jon Sloat.
Near St. Helena Road a Ford Mustang driver rounded a curve and found the SUV in his path. They crashed head on.
Mustang driver Ryan Cervantes, 29, and passenger Alberto Valencia, 28, and the SUV driver were taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.
Just 15 minutes prior to that crash emergency crews had finished clearing a nearby stretch of the rural road from a prior crash.
At about 6:55 a.m. Hugo Martinez, 30, of Santa Rosa was driving too fast as he headed east, just south of Alpine Road, Sloat said.
On a curve his Honda Prelude crossed the double yellow lines and hit a westbound Ford Focus.
The impact pushed the Ford, driven by Joseph Moug, 46, of Santa Rosa, off of the road.
The Ford overturned in a creek. Moug was able to get out. He and Martinez had minor injuries and were taken by ambulance to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.
Officers cited Martinez for being an unlicensed driver.
The crash partially blocked Calistoga Road until 8:40 a.m.