A woman took the stand Wednesday to describe a brutal arm wound she suffered when a driver ran her over as she watched a “Zombie Walk” downtown last summer.
Cynthia Campbell suffered significant injuries when a car, driven by Matthew Pocci, rammed into her near the San Diego Convention Center during Comic-Con.
Pocci, who is deaf, is on trial for a felony reckless driving charge. He said he and his passengers, who included a child, were afraid of the crowd gathered for the Zombie Walk at 2nd and Island avenues, so he accelerated through the group in attempt to get away.
Campbell got caught underneath the vehicle. In her testimony Wednesday, she described the injury to her arm.
“The skin actually falls off the arm — not balls off but opens up, so that's what I understand,” Campbell testified about a wound to her arm. “I knew clearly that I had a gloving injury, and that's what I understand happened, and I also had a very deep tissue trauma to my right leg.”
A professional photographer, Campbell said she was taking pictures of the walk on July 26, 2014, in hopes of selling them later.
When she heard a car begin to honk behind her, she said she did not think the car was going to drive forward, so she kept her attention on the children, teens and adults in costume. Then, Pocci lunged his vehicle forward.
“I do recall at one point when I turned around seeing two individuals on the car,” Campbell said. “It appeared to be in an effort to get the car to stop, and then shortly after that, all I remember is being hit very hard twice and that's all I remember.”
Pocci wiped his eyes after her testimony — the first time he showed that kind of emotion during the trial.
Communicating with ASL in an earlier interview with NBC 7, Pocci said the crowd was out of control and pounding his car, trying to get inside.
He panicked and accelerated, he said, when someone broke his windshield and tried to open a car door.
Forensic video expert Grant Fredricks also took the stand Wednesday to discuss that moment. He synced videos of the crash taken from different angles and slowed them to examine each frame.
He said it showed Pocci’s car move a length and a half and butt up against the crowd. People are shown gathering around it, and eventually, two men sit on the hood.
However, Fredricks said the windshield cracked and the door was opened after Pocci accelerated through the crowd, not before. The defense questioned Fredricks’ credibility as an expert.
Prosecutors argue that Pocci was angry and impatient when he ran into Campbell and others. Campbell is suing Pocci and other entities in connection with the incident.