Couple crushed by truck at Chicano Park mentored troubled kids


Annamarie Contreras, 50, and Cruz Contreras, 52, a married couple from Chandler, Arizona, were among the four people crushed to death by a pickup in Chicano Park.

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SAN DIEGO — An Arizona couple who had been married for over 35 years were among four people killed Saturday afternoon when a suspected drunk driver plunged more than 60 feet off the Coronado Bridge into a crowded festival at Chicano Park.

Cruz Elias Contreras, 52, and Annamarie Contreras, 50, have three daughters and two grandchildren, according to a gofundme page created by family members.

The couple, who ‘spent their free time enjoying the brotherhood and serenity of the open road on their motorcycle,’ were dedicated to helping young people in their community.

“Together, they spent many years providing a loving home for many of Arizona’s foster children,” according to the page.

Cruz was also a mentor to troubled teens and AnnaMarie was a teaching assistant at an elementary school.

Two additional victims were identified by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office Sunday as Andre Christopher Banks, 49, and Francine Denise Jimenez, 46, both from Hacienda Heights.

Read More: 4 dead after truck flies off Coronado Bridge, driver arrested for DUI

On-duty Navy serviceman Richard Anthony Sepolio, 24,  was arrested after his pickup truck careened off the bridge and landed on its side on top of the four victims, according to Chief Brian Fennessy of San Diego Fire-Rescue. Nine other people were injured.

People attending the festival were able to get the badly damaged truck upright, Capt. Chuck Kaye of the San Diego Police Department said. Police officers gave medical aid to those crushed by the truck, “but to no avail,” Kaye said.

The crash caused so much chaos that both the Coronado and Harbor police departments were called in to help.

Sepolio suffered major trauma and is being treated for his injuries at UC San Diego Medical Center.

Alcohol was involved, CHP spokesman Jake Sanchez said during a Saturday press conference.

“It’s horrible,” Sanchez said. “Innocent people were down here having a good time — now, they’re gone.”

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