A fourth day of testimony is expected today in the trial of a Navy petty officer accused of speeding and driving impaired when he crashed his pickup truck into a barrier on a transition ramp to the Coronado Bridge and flew off the road into Chicano Park, killing four people.
October 15, 2016
It started as an annual biker run and turned into a tragedy as the pickup swerved over the Coronado Bridge retaining wall and plunged 60 or more feet onto vendors’ sales booths during a festival in Chicano Park killing four people.
Witnesses Describe the Horror
“We didn’t hear anything, we didn’t see anything,” said Julie Delatorre, one of the hundreds who attended the La Raza Ride motorcycle festival being held at Chicano Park that day.
One woman was reported to have a suffered a compound fracture, with the bone showing, and a man had an injured leg.
They credited bystanders with shoving the overturned pickup upright, offering first aid within seconds of the crash, and for helping emergency crews close the roads beneath the bridge.
The Defendant Faces Nearly 24 Years in Prison
Richard Sepolio, 27, faces 13 charges, including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI and reckless driving causing injury in connection with the Oct. 15, 2016, deaths of Annamarie Contreras, 50, and Cruz Contreras, 52, a married couple from Chandler, Arizona, and Hacienda Heights residents Andre Banks, 49, and Francine Jiminez, 46.
Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright told jurors that Sepolio was traveling more than 80 miles per hour on the transition ramp from northbound Interstate 5 to the bridge about 3:30 PM when he lost control of his truck, which plummeted into the park where hundreds of people were enjoying a rally for motorcycle riders.
The trial is expected to last three weeks.