Suspected drunk driver in Oakland slams into van filled with kids
OAKLAND, Calif. - A suspected drunk driver has been arrested in Oakland after slamming into a van filled with kids.
Some of the injured were taken to a hospital.
The severity of the crash may be rare, but some say the type of reckless behavior leading up to it is not.
The entire incident was captured on video from the camera of a store.
Just after 8:30 p.m on Thursday, the driver of a Pontiac G6 going about 90 miles-per-hour in the bus lane, according to police, ran a red light and plowed into a Honda Odyssey.
Two kids, apparently not buckled in, were thrown from the van.
"We've seen a lot of accidents here based on this intersection, and that's probably the worst thing I've I've seen, said Gaspar Gamez, owner of Ciudad de Mexico.
The horrific crash on International Boulevard at 38th was captured by cameras outside Gamez’s business.
Bystanders rushed in to rescue victims, pulling children from the vehicle.
"I think it's our duty you know you see somebody in need and specially in that situation you should help, said Gamez.
At least one person in the van managed to walk away from the crash.
In all, police say 10 people were transported to hospitals, six of them were children in the van, including a 9- and 2-year-old who were thrown from the vehicle.
They’re reported to be at Children’s Hospital in critical condition with head trauma.
After hitting the van, the Pontiac hit a Jeep parked on the sidewalk, then came to rest.
The driver appeared ready to run, but bystanders put a stop to that.
"So, before you know it, he had too many people that weren't going to let him go," said Gamez.
The driver has been charged with DUI, hit and run, reckless driving and driving on a suspended license.
Some call the accident a symptom of a larger problem in parts of Oakland. They refer to the situation as lawlessness.
"People drive like they don’t have no license, because they don’t obey the law. They just drive like they want to drive," said Andrew Ray.
Gamez says cars have hit his building, drivers have used bus lanes like highways, and flouting rules of the road has become a common practice.
The city has called in the CHP for help, but Gamez and others say more needs to be done to prevent future tragedies like this.
"Maybe we have to, or they have to start taking license plate numbers, sending out fines, you know. I don't know, something. It has to be a deterrent," he said.
Oakland police say they’ve held 10 traffic safety operations in East Oakland in the last year, the most recent being Sept. 3.