San Diego

Suspected Drunk Driver, Sailor, Pleads Not Guilty in Coronado Bridge Wrong Way Crash

The suspected drunk driver was a U.S. Navy service member.

A suspected drunk driver and U.S. Navy sailor who allegedly sped the wrong way onto the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and collided head-on with another car pleaded not guilty to related felony charges from her hospital bed Wednesday. 

Briana Rall, 24, a service member in the U.S. Navy, faces a felony driving under the influence charge in the early morning crash on Monday.

Rall, who does not have a prior criminal record, pleaded not guilty through an attorney. Bail was set at $130,000. 

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) said a white Ford Fusion was seen driving the wrong way across the bridge. A CHP unit at the toll plaza spotted the wrong way driver, but were not able to catch up to the car before a crash occured. 

When authorities caught up with the car, it had collided head-on with a Ford F-150 just 300 yards east of the toll plaza shortly after 4 a.m. that morning. 

The 49-year-old woman was taken to UCSD Medical Center with major injuries, the CHP official said. She suffered three broken ribs and a swollen heart. 

The driver of a third vehicle, a Dodge Ram pickup, was heading to work on base when he was struck by the F-150. The 27-year-old, a U.S. Navy Service member, suffered moderate injuries and was treated at UCSD.

Deputy District Attorney Vasel told NBC 7, the victims invovled in the crash had nowhere to go. They were stuck on the bridge without a way to avoid danger.

"The first victim's vehicle ends up...after she struck her car, ends up on the side of the bridge and thank God it didn't go over," Vasel said. "This felony DUI, these DUI cases and driving over the wrong-way over the Coronado bridge--I mean I can't speak enough, there are so many options here to drive safe.”

Rall suffered minor injuries in the crash. 

Traffic in both directions was immediately stopped and held for several hours while CHP and Coronado police investigated.

If convicted, Rall could spent six years in prison. She will appear in court on June 14.

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