UPDATED (3:57 p.m., Monday): The California Highway Patrol has identified the 4-year-old boy killed in Sunday’s head-on crash between two SUVs in Carneros as Lakai Kirk of Napa.
His mother, who was also injured in the collision and taken to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital for treatment, was identified as 25-year-old Ariel Kirk.
CHP spokesperson Anna Paulson said officers are still investigating the cause of the crash.
According to CHP reports, the Chevrolet Equinox SUV carrying the boy and his mother was traveling on Highway 12/121 when it collided with an oncoming Lexus RX 450 at about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Witnesses said the Chevrolet crossed the double-yellow line into the path of the oncoming Lexus, CHP officials said.
The Chevrolet and the Lexus were reportedly traveling at about 55 miles per hour, which is the posted speed limit on that stretch of highway. The crash occurred on a curved portion of the roadway. The cause of the accident is still unknown.
Cindy Pawlcyn, 58, a longtime restaurant owner in St. Helena, was a passenger in the Lexus. Pawlcyn was taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center with injuries described at the scene as moderate. Her husband, 66-year-old John Watanabe — who was driving the vehicle — was also taken to Queen of the Valley with injuries described as minor.
Sean Knight, Pawlcyn’s business partner, said in a statement released Monday afternoon that the chef remained hospitalized.
“We are very appreciative of the outpouring of love and support we’ve received in the wake of this heartbreaking accident,” Knight wrote. “Cindy is hospitalized with injuries and, while it may take awhile, we expect a full recovery in the coming months. We ask for your continued prayers for all involved.”
The conditions of Pawlcyn, Watanabe and Flavio Castellanos, the 23-year-old driver of the SUV carrying the Kirks, remain unknown.
Paulson added that the boy was strapped into a booster seat consisting of a base-only apparatus. The lap and shoulder seat belts were in use.