DUI Driver Plunges Over Bridge, Kills Four
In most cases, only a few passing motorists, pedestrians or nearby residents catch a glimpse of the grisly details when a driver who is DUI in Los Angeles causes a fatal crash. But when Richard Anthony Sepolio’s truck plunged over the guardrails on the Interstate 5 bridge between San Diego and Coronado Island, dozens of people may have witnessed the horrific results.
Around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 15th, Sepolio’s GMC pickup went off the bridge and landed below in Chicano Park, where a crowd was gathered for the La Raza Run motorcycle festival. The truck crushed a vendor booth, killing two couples: Cruz Elias Contreras, 52, and Annamarie Contreras, 50, of Chandler, Arizona, and Andre Christopher Banks, 49, and Francine Denise Jimenez, 46, both from Hacienda Heights near Los Angeles. Nine other people, including Sepolio, suffered injuries.
According to Fox 5, Sepolio, an active duty Navy petty officer, had been out with a friend for a meal that included wine and cocktails. Although they took Uber to and from the friend’s house, Sepolio left to drive himself home an hour later, despite his friend’s warning that he had drunk too much to get behind the wheel. When crossing the bridge, Sepolio apparently sped up to get into the left lane, hitting 81 mph in a 45 mph zone. His vehicle spun out of control and went over the bridge’s sidewalls.
An hour after the accident, Sepolio’s blood alcohol content measured 0.08, which put him just over the legal limit. His attorney has already stated that his client was not DUI, but was forced off the bridge by another car. Prosecutors are not buying that story, however, and have charged Sepolio with four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and two counts of DUI. Under California Penal Code 191, Sepolio could face 24 years in prison if convicted.
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