'Smiling' Driver Kills 1, Injures 11 After Plowing Through Crowded Venice Boardwalk
One person was killed, and 11 others were injured when a driver sped through the crowded Venice Boardwalk last night. The driver fled the scene, but a man matching the description of the driver later turned himself into police.
The hit-and-run happened around 6:01 p.m. at the Venice Boardwalk near the intersection of Dudley Avenue, according to City News Service. Witnesses told CBS that the driver seemed to be in control of his car and intentionally swerving into people in the crowd of tourists, vendors and others enjoying a Saturday evening stroll. One witness said the driver was "out for blood." Others said the driver sped up after hitting pedestrians.
Kevin Salveson, 44, told the Los Angeles Times that he heard a scream when he turned to see a car plunging into a booth. The driver turned his wheel and headed toward another booth. Salveson looked into the car and described what he saw: "His window was open and I looked in the car and I saw him...smiling."
The driver headed south on the boardwalk before turning on Sunset Avenue. He later abandoned his car about a mile away at Ocean Park Boulevard and Beverly Avenue and fled on foot. About an hour after the crash, a man matching the description of the driver walked into the Santa Monica Police Station and told them that he was connected to the incident, the Los Angeles Times reports. Police would not comment on whether the male was intoxicated. He was not yet charged, and his name has not been released.
The driver left a path of destruction on the Boardwalk. Alice Gruppioni, 32, of Italy was pronounced dead in the hours after the crash. Of the 11 others injured, one is in critical condition. This video captures the immediate aftermath of the crash. (It isn't graphic or bloody, but it does show some disoriented, injured victims awaiting medical treatment.)
This photo captures the chaotic aftermath of the scene from above:
Aanslag in Venice Beach. Gek scheurt full speed over boulevard. Tientallen gewonden. Voor ons hotel. Met ons goed. pic.twitter.com/9vtWPoyozJ— Maarten Smitskamp (@madism40) August 4, 2013
This shows the driver on the Boardwalk while pedestrians flee:
Looking for this dark blue Dodge. pic.twitter.com/RQ96moXr5T— Snapchat (@Snapchat) August 4, 2013
UPDATE: The suspect who turned himself into the police station Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, was arrested for murder at 2:43 a.m., according to City News Service. He was held on $1 million bail. His hometown was not available.