A makeshift memorial has been left at the bus stop bench in Chula Vista where a homeless man was struck and killed Sunday.
William Gerling, 65, was sitting at the bus stop near Orange and Third avenues at 6:46 p.m. when a vehicle jumped a curb and slammed into the bench. Gerling suffered an amputated leg and died later at a nearby hospital.
The driver of the vehicle was identified by Chula Vista Police as Nicholas Ramirez 28, of Imperial Beach. He was arrested immediately after the collision and accused of irst degree murder and vehicular manslaughter charges.
Witnesses initially reported seeing the driver involved in several collisions in the parking lot after leaving a bar. When someone confronted him about the smaller collisions, he sped off and, as he was driving, his car jumped a curb and struck a bus stop bench.
Ramirez was initially scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday but the hearing was postponed until Friday. Ramirez’ attorney, Craig Leff, said his client was not in court because of a medical condition related to the case.
Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright said there needs to be a "conscious disregard for life" to warrant such a serious charge in a collision involving an intoxicated driver.
Bright prosecuted Ramirez seven years ago for a prior DUI arrests. NBC 7 has learned the defendant has had four prior DUI arrests.