San Diego resident Craig Voss, 71, has been booked into jail on three counts of vehicular manslaughter, five counts of causing great bodily injury while committing a felony, and one count of felony DUI, following a devastating crash that occurred this morning.
At approximately 9 am on March 15th, Voss hit eight people who were seeking shelter from the rain in a tunnel in downtown San Diego. Three people died in the crash, and five were hospitalized. Two of those victims are in serious condition. Witnesses say Voss plowed into a row of tents along the sidewalk. The area is known to San Diegans as a place where the homeless seek shelter.
The San Diego Fire Department said first responders were called to the 1400 block of B Street at 9:05 am Monday. More than 60 emergency personnel responded to the mass-casualty incident. SDFD Chief, Colin Stowell, described the incident during a news briefing this morning as “a very tragic, tragic accident that will make an impact on a lot of lives.” The chief added, “We train for this, but there’s no way to prepare for something that’s this devastating.”
When officers first arrived on the scene, they saw “multiple people down” in the tunnel located near the San Diego City College campus. The driver, Craig Voss, who had been driving a Volvo station wagon at the time, identified himself to police officers.
The police chief could not confirm what type of substances were allegedly involved, but he said those details are still under investigation.
Witnesses said Voss was traveling westbound on B Street near 15th Street when he lost control and veered to the right. Voss’s vehicle went up onto the sidewalk and struck multiple people before returning to the roadway.
San Diego Police Department Chief, David Nisleit, said Voss immediately got out of his car and walked over to the victims. Officers later heard from witnesses that he also tried to help some of those who were hurt. Nisleit said there is no information yet on the names of the victims or their ages.
Our sincere thoughts are with the victims, and we give our deepest condolences to the family members and friends of those who lost their lives today in this devastating crash.