Too much alcohol can make it difficult for drivers to keep their car on the road. Intoxicated drivers may veer into other lanes, hit parked cars, or even jump the curb, striking a fire hydrant. In San Diego, when a driver went off the road, his car flew off a bridge, killing four and injuring many more.
A U.S. Navy active duty service member was driving onto the Coronado Bridge from Interstate 5 shortly after 3 p.m. Richard Anthony Sepolio, 24, was driving his pickup truck across the bridge when he suddenly veered into the guardrail. His truck plunged 60 feet off the bridge, landing on a crowd of people below. Four people in the park were killed and others were injured in the crash.
Chicano Park sits at the bottom of the Coronado Bridge. It was created in the 1970s by local residents in protest against the city building a new parking lot. Since then, it has become home to the largest collection of outdoor murals in the country. The park is popular with residents and tourists, and people gather at the park for a number of festivals.
On Saturday, October 15th, people were gathered in the park to celebrate La Raza Run, a motorcycle festival. More than 100 people were in the park to celebrate the tribute to fallen motorcycle riders. Suddenly, a truck crashed through the guardrail on the bridge above, landing in the park below.
“I saw that truck come flying off the ramp here and onto people that were underneath them,” said one witness. “I was that close to them. It's terrible.”
“Pieces of car parts were flying all over the place,” said Dolores D'Angelo, who was scheduled to perform with a band at the festival. “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.”
“I saw the truck coming at me, and if I hadn't run, I'd be dead,” said Iris Jimenez. Jimenez was friends with two of the people killed in the crash.
Witnesses say the driver of the car was in shock after the crash. He had his phone in his hand after the accident, which may have distracted his attention while driving. He repeatedly told people to contact his commanding officer.
Four people died and at least 9 other people were injured. According to California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officer Jake Sanchez, the driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was critically injured but survived the crash. He has been charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing injury or death, and other charges.
At the Gorelick Law Offices, attorney Lynn Gorelick has dedicated her legal career to defending individuals facing drunk driving charges in the East Bay. With over 30 years of DUI defense experience, Lynn Gorelick understands what it means to fight for you. Contact the local East Bay DUI defense attorney who will stand up for your rights, so you can keep a clean record and stay out of jail.