3 Dead, 6 Hurt After Car Hits San Diego Pedestrians

Cops say driver lost control, veered onto sidewalk
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 15, 2021 5:40 PM CDT
3 Dead, 6 Hurt After Car Hits San Diego Pedestrians
Lisa Brotzman, right, stands with Terry Goffigan at the scene of a deadly accident Monday, March 15, 2021, in San Diego.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

A driver lost control and veered onto a sidewalk Monday dotted with the tents of homeless people in downtown San Diego, killing three people and injuring six others, police said. The driver—whom authorities identified only as a 71-year-old man—was heading through a tunnel underneath a community college campus when he drove his Volvo station wagon up on the sidewalk shortly after 9am, said San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit. The man was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired, the AP reports. "For whatever reason, (the driver) veered to the right, went up on the sidewalk, struck multiple pedestrians there and then came back on to the roadway," Nisleit said. The chief offered his "deepest condolences," to the families of those who died.

Three people died at the scene. Five of the six others who were injured were taken to hospitals, including two who were in critical condition, authorities said. On a typical weekday morning it is a busy area with students walking by, but classes have been online during the coronavirus pandemic. There also are a number of tents lining the sidewalks in the area, including the sidewalk in the tunnel. Lisa Brotzman tells the San Diego Union-Tribune that she was peering out of a window in her tent just as the car swerved to the right shoulder, “spun out of control” and jumped onto the sidewalk in the tunnel where people were waiting out the rain. The driver got out of his car and tried to help people before identifying himself to police, Nisleit said.

(Read more San Diego stories.)

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