Police in Orange County are still piecing together details from a startling weekend car crash in downtown Fullerton that left nine people injured. The incident took place early Sunday morning in the thriving bar and restaurant strip known as SOCO (South of Commonwealth), just as the sidewalk with teeming with folks ready to go home for the night.
Police say that 22-year-old Christopher Solis was driving a red Toyota Tacoma pickup truck when the vehicle jumped the curb and ran over nearly a dozen people before crashing into a tree. Several people were trapped beneath the vehicle, and bystanders worked together to lift the truck so that those pinned could be removed as police and ambulances arrived.
Solis has been booked on felony DUI charges with bodily injury, reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, who note that police believe Solis was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash.
All nine victims are said to be recovering either in local hospitals or at home, though some will require surgery. Meanwhile, Fullerton police say the area — which has a long history as a nightlife corridor and is home to dozens of distinct bars and restaurants with alcohol licenses — has long been a trouble spot for DUIs and weekend violence, including fights in nearby parking lots after last call. CBS News Los Angeles also reported that some eye witnesses believe Solis may have been in an altercation of some kind just before getting into his truck and driving into the crowd. Police are asking anyone with cell phone video of the crash to come forward.