SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Authorities have recognized certainly one of three males who have been killed when a station wagon with a suspected drugged driver behind the wheel jumped off a sidewalk in a tunnel within the East Village and entered a makeshift camp.
Rodney Diffendal, 40, was certainly one of 9 individuals struck shortly after 9 a.m. Monday on B Road, simply west of sixteenth Road, based on the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Workplace. He was pronounced lifeless on the scene, together with a 65-year-old man and a 61-year-old man whose names have been withheld pending notification from the household.
Craig Martin Voss, 71, of San Diego, was arrested on the crash scene on suspicion of DUI, based on San Diego police. Voss was driving a westbound Volvo station wagon which veered proper off the roadway and hit the group of homeless individuals, who have been on a large sidewalk amid tents and collections of non-public gadgets, police mentioned.
Paramedics took 5 different victims to hospitals for remedy of accidents starting from extreme to reasonably extreme, and handled one other homeless individual on the scene for minor trauma. Their names, ages and sexes haven’t been launched.
Two of the victims have been admitted to UCSD medical middle in vital situation however have been awake and responsive Monday afternoon, San Diego Police Division chief David Nisleit informed reporters. An replace on the circumstances of those victims was not instantly accessible on Tuesday.
Nisleit mentioned it was not clear “if individuals have been sleeping, if individuals have been sitting there (on the time of the crash).” After the station wagon crashed into the sidewalk, then returned to the road and got here to a cease in a site visitors lane, Voss acquired out and tried to supply help to the victims earlier than emergency crews arrived. , did he declare.
After being questioned by officers, the Voss was arrested and jailed within the county jail on suspicion of manslaughter, inflicting critical bodily hurt within the fee of a felony and DUI. He was being held on $ 1 million bail pending his arraignment, scheduled for subsequent Tuesday.
Voss was allegedly underneath the affect of some drug when he misplaced management of his automotive, based on Nisleit, who declined to say what kind of substance he was suspected of getting ingested.
Simply earlier than the wreckage, police acquired a name from somebody reporting a probably drunk motorist within the space, driving a car matching the suspect’s description, based on Nisleit. Investigators imagine it’s the similar one who crashed onto the crowded sidewalk minutes later, the chief mentioned.
All these struck by the car have been homeless, based on San Diego Metropolis Council Chairman Professional Tem Stephen Whitburn.
“As we now have realized that the 9 victims are a part of our unsheltered group, that is stark proof of the necessity to discover everlasting options to the homelessness disaster in order that no San Diegans are compelled to hunt refuge. in harmful locations, resembling underneath bridges. and within the tunnels that automobiles go via, ”Whitburn mentioned Monday.
The stretch of highway the place the crash occurred – in an extended underpass underneath San Diego Metropolis School – is often occupied by squatters in search of shelter from the solar or inclement climate, resembling scattered rain that fell within the metropolis on Monday, Mayor Todd Gloria mentioned.
“Let me say it very clearly – a avenue just isn’t a home,” Gloria informed reporters. “It’s neither human nor protected to proceed to permit our homeless neighbors to sleep underneath bridges, in alleys or in canyons. We should take decisive motion to supply extra compassionate options to individuals experiencing homelessness. … As mayor I’ve been clear – we is not going to flip a blind eye to homelessness. We are going to face it head on. “
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