SAN DIEGO (CBSLA/AP) — A driver plowed through a sidewalk homeless encampment Monday in downtown San Diego, killing three people and injuring six others, authorities said.
Craig Voss, 71, was heading through a tunnel underneath a community college campus when he drove his Volvo station wagon up on the sidewalk shortly after 9 a.m., San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit.READ MORE: California Focusing On Urgent Projects As Wildfire Season Looms
Voss was arrested at the scene. He faces three counts of vehicular manslaughter, five counts of causing great bodily harm and a felony DUI, Nisleit said, adding that Voss did a field sobriety test by a drug recognition expert. He did not elaborate or identify whether Voss was under the influence of alcohol or other substance. He said additional charges may be coming.
Authorities say Voss was westbound on B Street, the street that runs underneath the college’s Curran Plaza, when he veered to the right and into pedestrians on the sidewalk. The driver then veered back onto the street just before the end of the tunnel.
Voss remained at the scene and tried to help the pedestrians, police said.READ MORE: Future Of Hollywood's Cinerama Dome Still In Question
The deadly crash highlights the inherent risks to the homeless population in California, where their tents and tarps line not only downtown sidewalks but are near ramps where cars accelerate as they enter freeways.
More than 150,000 people are homeless statewide. The number has increased during the coronavirus pandemic that has upended the economy.
Mayor Todd Gloria said most, if not all of the nine people who were struck were homeless.MORE NEWS: Paul Flores, Father Arrested In 1996 Disappearance Of Kristin Smart
(Copyright 2021 CBS Corp. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.)