NewsLocal News


Closing arguments begin in trial against Navy man charged in deadly Coronado Bay Bridge crash

Posted at 5:55 PM, Jan 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 12:59:30-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Closing arguments began Wednesday in the trial over the deadly 2016 Coronado Bridge crash, which killed four people.

Deputy District Attorney Callie Bright made the case that Navy sailor Richard Sepolio was drunk when he drove his truck off the bridge, landing in Chicano Park below. The park was crowded with people attending an event.

In her argument Bright said Sepolio had spent the morning and early afternoon drinking with a friend and that he was still impaired at the time of the incident. She cited testimony from officers and witnesses who said they smelled alcohol on Sepolio.

Bright also said Sepolio was aggravated from a fight with his girlfriend, who he'd been speaking with on a cell phone in the seconds before the crash. She pointed to evidence that Sepolio was driving more than 80 miles per hour and tried to make a reckless lane change, followed by hitting the wall on the left side of the ramp to the bridge, over correcting, and flying off the right side of the bridge.


Defense attorney Paul Pfingst denies those accusations. He says Sepolio was not impaired, and that his blood-alcohol level was below the legal limit.

He also questioned the evidence that Sepolio was speeding and distracted.

Pfingst put blame on another driver who sped up while Sepolio was trying to change lanes, leading to a tragic accident.

Closing arguments are expected to conclude Thursday, followed by jury deliberations.