herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

venice beach daytrippers flee for their lives as KILLER driver SPEEDS INTO crowds

A rapidly accelerating car driven by a young man screeched across a pavement and straight into a crowd enjoying one of southern California's most popular boardwalks, killing an Italian woman, Alice Gruppioni (32), injuring 11 and leaving the promenade in chaos as he sped out of sight.

The victim died at a hospital a few hours after the Saturday evening crash at the Venice Beach boardwalk.

Security video shows the man parking his black car alongside the seaside boardwalk as the sun sank, surveying the scene for several minutes before getting back into the car and speeding into the crowd. It shows hundreds of people strolling or sitting at cafes before the car suddenly appears and sends them scrambling.

BOARDWALK

Nathan Campbell (38) turned himself about two hours later. He has been booked for investigation of murder.

Witnesses reported a horrendous scene of people scattered and bloody at the Venice Beach boardwalk.

"There was people kind of stumbling around, blood dripping down their legs looking confused not knowing what had happened, people screaming," said Louisa Hodge (35), who was on the boardwalk with a friend visiting from San Diego.

"It was blocks and blocks of people just strewn across the sidewalk."

Firefighters combed the chaotic crowd, finding 12 people wounded and taking 10 of them to the hospital where one later died.

Another victim was in critical condition, two more were in serious condition, and the remaining eight had minor injuries.

The Venice boardwalk is a 1.5-mile ribbon of asphalt that runs along the sand a few hundred yards from the ocean. It is home to galleries, restaurants, tattoo shops, skateboard parks and the famous outdoor weight room known as Muscle Beach.

It can draw as many as 150,000 people on summer weekends.

hnews@herald.ie

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