One of the summer's worst tragedies occurred within the first few days of August in Venice Beach, California. Walkers, joggers, and people strolling down the beautiful Pacific walkway on a Saturday evening lay victim and witness to a horrific massacre that was more than a traffic accident, but rather an alleged murder. According to USA Today, the man that perpetrated the brutal and senseless attack on innocent passersby had been in trouble with the law before. 38-year-old Nathan Louis Campbell, the driver of the vehicle, had been arrested several times over the past 11 years, including an arrest in Panama City, Florida.
At approximately 6:30 pm, people were going about their leisurely evening strolls on the Pacific Walkway when a 2008 black Dodge Avenger traveling up to 60 miles per hour barged on the boardwalk. The vehicle appeared to be targeting pedestrians, running them down without hesitation. The driver of the vehicle, who surrendered 2 hours after the carnage, was identified as an unemployed homeless man, who had been sleeping out of his car. Mr. Campbell also has a criminal record, as well as a history of abusing drugs and alcohol.
Mr. Campbell had been arrested and pleaded guilty to a charge of public drunkenness in Santa Monica, California in 2008. He also pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless driving with alcohol in Panama City, Florida. According to NBCNews.com, Mr. Campbell now faces a litany of charges for his most recent involvement in the Venice Beach massacre.
Mr. Campbell was charged early this week with murder for the death of an Italian woman who was on her honeymoon when he allegedly ran over her with his vehicle. 32-year-old Alice Gruppioni died from blunt-force trauma to her head and neck and died soon after the hit and run. Ms. Gruppioni was the only person of the 17 victims to have passed away so far. Mr. Campbell faces 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit and run for injuring the 16 other victims, and killing Ms. Gruppioni.
Mr. Campbell pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, citing that the hit and run was an accident, and that he was sorry for it. Investigators do not know what Mr. Campbell's motive for the hit and run was at this time.
The outcome of Mr. Campbell's criminal case is yet to be determined; however, members of the Los Angeles City Council are already taking matters into their own hands to prevent another senseless incident from happening again. The Council is making efforts to put up street barriers to prevent vehicles from entering the boardwalk again.
Additionally, it is uncertain whether any of the 16 injured victims will bring civil suit for personal injury against Mr. Campbell, or whether Ms. Gruppioni's family will file a wrongful death suit. In cases such as this one, victims may have a claim for damages against the person who caused their injuries, even though he has been criminally charged. Victims and their families may seek compensation for their injuries and other losses related to the hit and run.
If you or a loved one has been injured by the acts of another person, you should seek out the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney can represent you in court and help you get the compensation that you deserve.