California law enforcement authorities are investigating the crash of a GMC pickup truck that jumped the guardrails on a San Diego bridge and plunged into a festival tent set up in the park below, killing four people and injuring several others.
The California Highway Patrol said that 25-year-old Richard Anthony Sepolio, a member of the U.S. Navy, lost control of the vehicle Saturday afternoon as he was driving onto the San Diego-Coronado Bridge westbound from I-5. The truck hopped the guardrail and plunged about 60 feet to Chicano Park below.
Mr. Sepolio, who is stationed at the naval base on Coronado Island, survived the crash with “major injuries.” He was arrested and charged with four counts of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. A witness told ABC Channel 10 News San Diego that he and others noticed that Mr. Sepolio had a cell phone in his hand.
Mr. Sepolio’s truck, bearing Texas plates, landed on a vendor tent set up for a motorcycle festival. Authorities said the impact crushed four people to death and injured eight others, including four critically.
The people in the vendor tent who were killed were a 62-year-old man and 50-year-old woman from Chandler, Ariz., and a 59-year-old man and 49-year-old woman from the Los Angeles area, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Eight other people on the ground were injured, including four with “major traumas” who were in critical condition.
Chicano park is located under the bridge in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in central San Diego. The towering bridge support columns throughout the park display colorful murals painted by local artists.
The crash remains under investigation. Authorities will also inspect the guardrail system and bridge to see if they require safety improvements.