SAN DIEGO (AP) — The three people killed when a driver plowed through a homeless camp on a sidewalk in downtown San Diego were all men — ages 40, 61 and 65 — who died of “multiple blunt force injuries,” according to a report from the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office released Tuesday.
Officials gave no other details nor identified the men by name.
Authorities were still trying to find their families, which can take time because of the men’s transient lives, San Diego police Lt. Shawn Takeuchi said.
Six others were hurt, including five who were taken to a hospital. Takeuchi said he had no details on their conditions, though he noted two who were in critical condition had shown improvement late Monday.
The tragedy illustrates the inherent danger California’s homeless population faces living on the streets.
Police say the 71-year-old driver, Craig Voss, was impaired when he headed through a tunnel underneath a community college campus and drove his Volvo station wagon up on the sidewalk shortly after 9 a.m. Monday.
He faces three counts of vehicular manslaughter, five counts of causing great bodily harm and a felony DUI. It wasn’t immediately known if Voss had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf.
Voss, who was arrested at the scene, did a field sobriety test by a drug recognition expert, though police have not identified whether Voss was under the influence of alcohol or other substance.
The body metabolizes prescription drugs and illicit narcotics in the same way, Takeuchi said. Police also ask about medical conditions as part of their routine investigation, and more details are expected to come out in court, he said.
Authorities had received a call before the crash that a man in a Volvo station wagon appeared to be driving while impaired, police said.
San Diego homeless advocate Michael McConnell said Monday’s crash was the latest one to occur. Last month, two homeless men sleeping under bushes in Escondido, north of San Diego, were run over and killed when an SUV veered onto a sidewalk.
“This is just the latest tragedy within a horrible crisis called homelessness,” he said.