On 09/16/2023, the San Rafael Police and Fire Departments responded to a solo-vehicle vehicle collision, which went into the Canal waterway. Tragically, the two trapped occupants in the vehicle were killed. At approximately 7:00 AM, SRPD 9-1-1 Communications Center was notified by a witness of a solo motor vehicle collision where it was reported a vehicle had driven into the Canal waterway at the end of Canal Street in the 500 block.
San Rafael Police and Fire personnel responded to the scene. Upon their arrival, a witness reported they had observed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed on Canal Street headed toward the waterway and dead-end of the street prior to hearing a splash in the water. Arriving SRPD Officers went to the dead-end of Canal Street and observed skid marks in the gravel and a solo vehicle submerged in the water. SRPD’s rescue boat and the Southern Marin Fire Department Dive Team responded to the scene. Two occupants were removed from the water. Both were unconscious and unresponsive in cardiac arrest. Paramedics attempted life-saving measures. Sadly, one person was pronounced deceased on the scene. The other person was transported from the scene to an area hospital, where his death was pronounced shorty after his arrival.
SRPD Major Accident Investigations Team (MAIT), along with the Marin County Sheriff’s Dive Team, were called to the scene and began an investigation into what occurred. During the investigation, the vehicle was removed from the water.
The decedent’s have been positively identified as:
Jose VASQUEZ GONZALEZ, a 21-year-old male from San Rafael.
Denison GAYTAN HERNANDEZ, a 21-year-old male from San Rafael.
Forensic postmortem examinations with routine toxicology testing is scheduled to be completed later this week. The cause and manner of death will be pending the conclusions of the investigations being completed by the San Rafael Police Department and Marin County Sheriff’s Office - Coroner Divison. No further information will be released by the Coroner Division at this time. Any further questions regarding this incident should be directed to the San Rafael Police Department.
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office and personnel of the Coroner Division offers our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Vasquez Gonzalez and Mr. Gaytan Hernandez.
Roger G. Fielding
Chief Deputy Coroner