A cab driver lost control of his vehicle last Saturday night, striking a crowd of 36 and leaving them with various injuries according to XETV 6 News San Diego. The single car accident occurred early Saturday morning outside of a nightclub in the Gaslamp District.
Dominique Gamble, a mother of two from Encinitas, suffered the most severe injuries. The cab crushed her leg and she had surgery on Monday at UC San Diego Medical Center. Initial reports were that the car accident severed her leg, which turned out to be not entirely true.
“Mrs. Gambale experienced an extreme crushing injury to her right leg, which was still attached at the time of her injury,” said UCSD surgeon Dr. Paul Girard. “To clarify, her leg was never severed. In addition to a tibia fracture, she has a large open wound, which will require the care of a multidisciplinary team of orthopedic, vascular and plastic surgeons.”
Gambale received treatment from a team of 15 medical experts and surgeons upon her arrival at UCSD Medical Center. “I know I am in good hands here at UC San Diego Medical Center. My care has been exceptional,” Gambale said in a statement released on her behalf. “I have been amazed at the level of skill and comprehensive efforts provided by the trauma and orthopedic surgery team.”
Investigators identified the driver of the cab as Sam Hassan Daly, a cab driver from Egypt. Daly also goes by Osama, according to XETV News 6. Not everybody is convinced that the crash was an accident.
“No horns, no brakes, no screeching no yelling,” reported one witness. “All these people were out there waiting in line for cabs; it was just the worst possible time.”
Dan Rose, Daly’s roommate for the past two months, spoke to XETV reporters. Rose did not speculate as to whether or not the car accident was intentional, but he did say he was fearful of Daly.
“Just very irrational behavior,” said Rose of his experience living with Daly. “I don’t know if it was necessarily a terroristic type of thing or maybe he’s just imbalanced.” Rose says he began carrying a knife with him in the home for self-defense after a confrontation with Daly. “The reaction he had toward me made me a little scared so I carry one with me even in my home when I’d go to the bathroom.”
Investigators are still working on determining if the accident was due to driver negligence. “He had just changed medications that made him very sleepy and fatigued the night of the accident and that he blacked out,” Rose told reporters. Daly told police he did not remember the car accident itself.
The cab was traveling approximately 15 mph when it stuck the unsuspecting crowd. Gambale suffered the most severe of the injuries. Witnesses told the San Diego Union-Tribune that the crowd members then dragged Daly out of the cab, who was attempting to run away. It was not determined if Daly was attempting to flee the scene or prevent harm from the angry mob.
“The immediately dragged him out of his car. (The driver) tried to run for his life. People were rather upset, kicking and punching,” witness Joshua Montana told the San Diego Union-Tribune.