New Road Signs, Arrows Coming to Fiesta Island

The improvements come one month after a DUI suspect driving the wrong-way plowed into a group of 30 bicyclists riding on Fiesta Island, seriously injuring several of the cyclists

New signs and other road safety improvements are coming to Fiesta Island nearly one month after a woman suspected of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol plowed into a group of bicyclists in the area.

Craig Gustafson, press secretary for Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office, said several changes are being made to the island, which is a very popular spot for bicyclists.

This includes additional 25 mph signs, directional white arrows at the entrance, one-way directional arrows and wrong-way signs around the island.

Images: Car Drives into Group of Cyclists on Fiesta Island

Gustafson said the City of San Diego will also add no left turn signs and one-way only signs at the shortcut to a youth camp housed at the island.

“In addition, we will trim back the bushes by the youth camp shortcut and replace existing delineators with new bright orange ones. We are also be adding bike ‘sharrows’ and ‘share the road’ signs,” he told NBC 7.

A cyclist hit by a wrong-way driver on Fiesta Island, Juan Carlos Vinolo, is paralyzed and remains in critical condition, as NBC 7’s Sherene Tagharobi reports.

The total number of signs that will be added to Fiesta Island is currently being reviewed by City staff, Gustafson said. As of right now, the City expects to have everything installed in the area by mid-October.

On Aug. 12, DUI suspect Theresa L. Owens, 49, drove the wrong way on Fiesta Island, crashing into a group of 30 cyclists from the San Diego Bicycle Club who were finishing their group training ride.

Ten of those bicyclists were injured, including La Jolla father and husband Juan Carlos Vinolo, who is now paralyzed as a result of the collision.

Vinolo pushed a fellow rider out of Owens’ path, saving his friend’s life, but wound up taking the brunt of the impact. He was left paralyzed from the chest down.

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The impact of the crash shattered the windshield of Owen’s vehicle and sent multiple other bicyclists to the hospital with injuries ranging from facial cuts to bruised ribs.

Owens was arrested at the scene. She appeared in court in a few days later where a deputy district attorney alleged the suspect had been driving under the influence of both drugs and alcohol and had a baggie of methamphetamine hidden in her vagina at the time of the crash.

She was charged with felony DUI causing injury and possession of a controlled substance, but pleaded not guilty.

As of Tuesday, Owens remained jailed at the Las Colinas Detention and Re-entry Facility. She’s scheduled to appear in court again on Oct. 6.

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