L.A. Residents Among Those Killed In Coronado Bridge Tragedy

SAN DIEGO (CBSLA.com) — A member of the U.S. Navy has been arrested after authorities say he crashed a pickup truck off the Coronado Bridge in San Diego.

Four people were crushed to death and nine people, including the suspected driver, were injured when the truck landed on a vendor at a festival beneath the bridge.

Authorities say the driver of the truck, 25-year old Richard Anthony Sepolio was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

CBS2’s Louisa Hodge has the local connection to the tragedy.

Alicia Gonzales is a member of a biker group that hangs out at the Wagon Wheel bar in Pico Rivera.

Gonzales and her fellow bikers were at Chicano Park when the truck flew off the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and landed on the Wagon Wheel vendor booth.

“It was up in the air and it flipped and it crushed the people at the Wagon Wheel booth,” she said. “We were seconds away from walking up to the booth.”

Among the four killed were a couple that frequented the Wagon Wheel. Francine Villalobos, 49, and Andre Banks, 59, from Hacienda Heights. bikers L.A. Residents Among Those Killed In Coronado Bridge Tragedy

The other two deceased victims were from Chandler, Arizona. Their identities have not been released by the coroner’s office.

Authorities say the truck was speeding when it lost control, struck a guardrail, and fell 60 feet, according to the Associated Press.

The suspected driver, whose name has not been released, is also accused of driving under the influence.

Witnesses couldn’t below what they saw:

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said one witness. “It’s crazy. It’s crazy.”

Another said: “We might not have known those people but all day we sat there talking to them and to have their lives taken in front of us, that’s hard.”

No further information was immediately available.


One Comment

  1. No Brainer says:

    He needs to be court-martialed and dishonorably discharged by the Navy, in addition to the charges he now faces in civilian court !!

  2. ophelia macias says:

    Francine was a fun loving person. i would call a butterfly because she always talking to people going from one person to another She loved her family very much and always wanted to take care of her grandson. she was a good friend, always there if you needed her.
    she would always tell me that her grandmother sent me to her and now i know she was also sent to me. i will miss her more than i can say.
    my love always, Ophie

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