Safety of Coronado Bridge Ramps in Question After Fatal Crash

Saturday afternoon, a pickup truck landed on a crowd at Chicano Park, killing at least 4 people and injuring several others in the suspected DUI crash

Community safety under the Coronado Bridge continues to be a concern for city leaders and transportation officials after a suspected DUI driver flew 60 feet off the ledge, killing four in a crowded park below

At a press conference, the Caltrans District Director for the area promised residents and park goers that a full investigation will be completed. District Director Laurie Berman promised to keep the community updated on the progress. 

Meanwhile, community members continued to express concern over safety for those who frequent the area. Some say the bridge barrier is not enough. 

The Caltrans investigation will determine what changes, if any, need to be made to the bridge going forward, Berman said. The 34-inch cement barrier on the bridge is standard, she added. 

"That's what the standard is and that's another we're going to look at," Berman said.

In the meantime, she said, the bridge, and those below it, are safe. 

"If we felt it wasn't safe, we will close it," Berman said. The bridge was inspected prior to reopening late Saturday evening and deemed structurally sound.

But others say that is not enough to stop future tragedies. 

Chicano Park has been established for decades, and the Chicano Park Steering Committee says it has been asking for a better barrier to block debris and cars from falling below for years.

"This is ridiculous," said Tommie Camarillo with the Chicano Park Steering Committee. "It could have been prevented if they would have done this long ago. I mean, it's 46 years. Come on now, it's not like it's a new park."

Camarillo said the committee is demanding the state fix the bridge to ensure another tragedy like Saturday's never happens again. 

"This is a park. It's for the people. We have people here all the time," he said, addressing the urgent need to make the bridge safer.

Senator Ben Hueso, who also attended the press conference, said he is already taking steps to get changes made to the bridge. 

"This tragic incident will result in improved safety for not only the people of this community but everyone who uses that bridge," Hueso said.

The investigation is expected to take three to four weeks. Caltrans promises further action if any safety issues on the bridge are found.

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