A tragic car accident took place yesterday in the Napa Valley, in which a Lexus carrying famed local restaurateur Cindy Pawlcyn (Mustards Grill, Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen) collided with a Chevrolet in which a four-year-old boy was a passenger. The boy was killed and the four other passengers in the two cars, including Pawlcyn and her husband John Watanabe (who was behind the wheel of the Lexus) were injured. As the Napa Valley Register reports, it's unclear who or what caused the crash; it occurred in the middle of the day, there's no indication that drugs or alcohol were involved, and both drivers were at or near the speed limit.
The accident occurred on Highway 12/121 near the Domaine Carneros winery and Di Rosa art gallery. The Chevrolet was driven by 23-year-old Flavio Castellanos, a Napa resident whose condition is currently unlisted, and the boy's mother, 27, who was in the passenger seat. She was flown by helicopter to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where she remains hospitalized for serious injuries. The boy was also transported by helicopter and was pronounced dead at the hospital. Pawlcyn's injuries were listed as moderate and Watanabe's as minor by the California Highway Patrol. The cars collided almost perfectly head-on, crumpling the noses of both vehicles and closing the highway in both directions for more than three hours.
Pawlcyn was also the victim of a dangerous car crash back in 2000, which was caused by a speeding driver who crashed into a car ahead of hers on the highway near Mill Valley and flipped several vehicles. She told the Chron last year that the accident was responsible for her leaving her partnership with the Real Restaurants group at the time, due to the stress of the near-miss.