San Diego

Man Texted Coworker About Wanting to Get ‘Wasted' Before He Drove Off Coronado Bridge: Investigator

The defendant said he wanted to get 'white girl wasted' in a text message to a coworker on the day of the crash

A man whose truck flew off the Coronado Bridge last November, killing four people, texted his coworker about wanting to get "wasted" before the tragedy.

After a judge determined there was enough evidence at the preliminary hearing, Sepolio was ordered to stand trial.

Relatives of victims flew in from all over the country to see the preliminary hearing for 25-year-old Richard Anthony Sepolio. The courtroom was completely packed for the hearing.

Experts testified about information from Sepolio's cell phone in court Monday, where he allegedly admitted to wanting to get wasted before the crash. 

San Diego County District Attorney Investigator Michael Edwards testified that Sepolio said he wanted to get 'white girl wasted' in a text message to a coworker on the day of the crash.

"I want to get white girl wasted. What does that mean?" asked Edwards. "I had to look it up."

Edwards downloaded the cell phone messages Sepolio had sent on the day of the crash; the texts were submitted as evidence.

A CHP investigator, Nicole Pacheco, recalled the horror she saw when she arrived at the crash site.

"When I looked over that bridge I can still see that," said Pacheco. "I can hear the sirens."

Sepolio was an active duty service member stationed in Coronado when he allegedly sped up the northbound I-5 onramp at approximately 81 mph on Oct. 15.

"It looked liked something out of a Michael Bae movie. It was surreal," added Pacheco.

Prosecutors also said that Sepolio was on his phone texting before he veered off the ramp. The defense claims Sepolio was forced off the road by another vehicle, but the DA has said there is no evidence of that.

Sepolio was drinking with a friend that Saturday afternoon, and he was under the influence when he got in his car to drive back to Coronado, prosecutors allege. They say he was drunk at the time of the crash.

His truck hit a guardrail and fell 60 feet into Chicano Park below, instantly killing four people at a festival: Cruz Elias Contreras, 52; AnnaMarie Contreras, 50; Andre Christopher Banks, 49; Francine Denise Jimenez, 46.

He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and charged with driving under the influence causing injury or death.

His injuries prevented officials from performing an accurate breathalyzer test, prosecutors say. A later test showed his BAC was .08.

If convicted on all counts, Sepolio could face a maximum sentence of 23 years and eight months in prison.

The hearing was continued from last month after delays caused by scheduling conflicts with the judge and attorneys.

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