A deaf driver whose car was surrounded by a group of people dressed as zombies and participating in the Zombie Walk as part of the annual San Diego Comic-Con International escaped the horde by hitting the gas pedal and forcing his way through the throng. As he sped through the crowd, he unintentionally struck a female bystander, 64, and seriously injured her arm.
The incident happened Saturday evening in San Diego at approximately 5:30 p.m. The police report indicates that the driver waited at the intersection of Second and Island Avenue for the “zombies” to pass, but that his small children became disturbed by the sight of what looked to be a mob of blood-covered people stumbling around their vehicle.
As the driver of the car, 48, attempted to escape by slowly driving through the mob of fake zombies while honking his horn, some of the participants surrounded the vehicle and began to pound on it. Some jumped on top of the car, and at one point the windshield of the car is shattered. The driver suddenly accelerates through the crowd, hitting a woman who was not a part of the Zombie Walk. The woman fell underneath the car and suffered a “serious” injury to her arm which left real blood at the scene. She was transported to a hospital in order to receive treatment. In a video of the incident, another man is also knocked to the ground, losing his sandal in the process.
As the driver and his children sped away, several march participants attempted to give chase. The car continued forward until the father saw a police officer and stopped his vehicle.
The annual Zombie Walk coincides with Comic-Con, but officials with the comic convention deny being affiliated with the march. The march is a highly-anticipated part of Comic-Con in which hundreds of people attending the convention don scary costumes and paint their faces before walking around near the convention center. The Zombie Walk website instructs everyone participating to follow all traffic signs and laws and to avoid blocking pedestrian or vehicle traffic.
Investigators with the San Diego police are looking into the accident, but they do not believe that the driver involved will be charged with a crime. Where videos of the incident have been posted, fierce debates have ignited between those who side with the frightened family’s attempt to escape through an unlawful mob of people and those who believe the driver overreacted to a little harmless fun and should have been more patient in waiting for the crowd to pass.
Zombie Walk organizers released a statement to express condolences to the injured woman and to thank the participants for being a part of the walk. The San Diego Comic-Con International is an annual convention featuring multiple genres of entertainment and comics. The convention is held on a Thursday through the following Sunday during the summer. Although it originally focused on comic books and science fiction/fantasy arts, Comic-Con has grown to showcase a wide range of pop culture and entertainment offerings across genres ranging from horror to anime. San Diego’s Comic-Con is the largest convention of its type in the world.
By Jennifer Pfalz