Truck Careens Off San Diego Bridge, Killing Four At A Festival Down Below
A man drove a pick-up truck off the famous San Diego-Coronado Bridge in San Diego on Saturday, killing four people who were at an event at Chicano Park down below. Nine other people were injured in the crash.
The Associated Press reports that the driver, identified as 25-year-old Navy man Richard Anthony Sepolio, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. CHP Officer Jake Sanchez said that at 3:30 p.m., the car hit a guardrail, and plunged 60 feet below, landing in the crowd below. According to witnesses, the truck crashed on top of a vendor tent that had been set up for a motorcycle festival.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, several thousand people had gathered in the park for the conclusion of the "La Raza Run," an event for which 2,000 bikers left downtown L.A. on Saturday morning and headed for San Diego. At Chicano Park, there was music, food, an art—a lively celebration to end the ride.
"I saw a car flying through the air, right off the bridge. It looked like -- I couldn't see anybody driving the car. It looked like as if Superman had thrown a car right off the bridge. It was just flying down," festival attendee Dolores D'Angelo told NBC San Diego. "Pieces of car parts were flying all over the place. When we got up, we turned around, everybody started running over there because we realized, there were people sitting there - there were people sitting right there."
Officer Sanchez described the scene as "horrific," saying, "Innocent people were down here having a good time." He also commended bystanders for pitching in to help immediately, offering first aid, and helping to push the overturned truck upright, and helping emergency crews when they arrived.
The four dead were killed almost immediately, while two other people are suffering serious injuries, and seven more have minor injuries.
The driver, who is critically injured himself, has been charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury or death and other charges. Police say he was stationed at a naval base in Coronado Island, across the bridge from San Diego proper.
A makeshift memorial was set up at the park last night: