Rick Valenzuela was standing just 20 feet away from where a pickup truck slammed into a crowd of people in Chicano Park after flying off the Coronado Bridge Saturday afternoon, killing four people and injuring nine.
“I heard a crash and I looked up and see this Chevy pick-up flying off the freeway. It flew, it just flew through the air,” Valenzuela said.
Valenzuela and his friend Hugo Perez were quick to act, racing over to the truck along with several other people.
“We all ran over there and tried to get the truck off the people,” Perez said.
“[It] took quite a few of us to lift that truck and flip it over to get those people loose from underneath the truck,” Valenzuela said.
Andrew Gonzales was one of several people who moved the truck to help the driver get out.
“We ran to the truck, we flipped it over, opened the window and three of us guys pulled him out. I was one of the main ones that stood with them,” Gonzales said. “That’s your natural instinct to make sure that a person is okay … It wasn’t only me, there were a lot of us.”
“[I] yanked my friend away and his wife, sat them down. [Tried] to ask for the police, where the police are, they started showing up,” Perez added.
Perez and Valenzuela spent the evening at UCSD Medical Center looking after one of their friends who was hurt in the crash.
“I’m surprised my friend is here right now,” Valenzuela told NBC 7. “But he’s okay. He’s talking, no broken bones and everything, so he’s all right.
The driver, Richard Anthony Sepolio, was arrested for DUI and causing injury or death. He is in the hospital with major injuries.