3 people killed and 6 others injured after a car crashed into a group of pedestrians near San Diego City College

San diego car pedestrian
A car involved in a deadly accident sits at the scene Monday, March 15, 2021, in San Diego. AP Photo/Gregory Bull
  • Three people were killed and six others were injured Monday when a car drove into pedestrians in San Diego.
  • The incident occurred just after 9 a.m. near the campus of the San Diego City College.
  • Police said the driver, a 71-year-old man, was cooperating and had been arrested for possibly driving while impaired.
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Three people were killed and six others were injured Monday morning when a car drove into a group of pedestrians near the San Diego City College in San Diego, California.

The incident occurred around 9 a.m. local time at the 1400 block of B Street in Downtown San Diego, authorities said. While initial reports suggested the driver fled the scene after striking the pedestrians, police said at a news conference Monday the driver did not flee the scene.

Three people were dead when emergency personnel arrived, San Diego police and fire officials said, two others had critical injuries, and four others also sustained injuries, bringing the total number of casualties to nine.

San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said at the Monday morning news conference the driver had exited his vehicle. Witnesses told first responders the driver appeared to be attempting to provide aid to the injured people, Nisleit said. According to San Diego Fire-Rescue, a total of 62 first responders responded to the incident.

San Diego Fire Department Cheif Colin Stowell called the incident “a very tragic emergency and incident.”

The driver of the “Volvo station wagon” involved was a 71-year-old man who “self-identified” himself as the driver of the car, Nisleit said. Nisleit did not release the suspect’s name but said he was in custody suspected of driving while impaired.

Nisleit said police had received a call about a possible impaired driver nearby the scene not long before the incident. The vehicle description made by the 911 caller matched the description of the vehicle involved in the incident, he said.

According to the San Diego NBC News affiliate KNSD, the area where the incident occurred is a tunnel that leads to the college campus. According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, people who are homeless typically gather in the area, lining the sidewalk with tents. The area was blocked from the public following the incident, according to the report.

Nisleit said the area would be blocked off to traffic for the majority of the day Monday.