SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) — Police say a driver who veered into a crosswalk and injured eight pedestrians in California did not say why he did it but indicated the act was intentional.
Sunnyvale police Capt. Jim Choi said Wednesday that Isaiah Peoples did not express any remorse as he talked to police. Choi said Peoples kept going after hitting the pedestrians until he struck a tree at high speed.
Peoples is a 34-year-old Army veteran. His mother says he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder while serving in Iraq. He is being held on eight counts of attempted murder after he drove into a busy intersection in this Silicon Valley suburb.
Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety Chief Phan Ngo said Wednesday that six of the eight injured were taken to hospitals Tuesday. Seven of the eight were hit.
He said the youngest victim was a 9-year-old boy who was treated and released with minor injuries. Four people remain hospitalized with major injuries, including a 13-year-old Sunnyvale resident in critical condition.
Ngo said they have no motive for the crash, and there is no evidence linking Isaiah Peoples to known terrorist organizations.
Peoples’ mother, Leevell Peoples, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that her son is a “model citizen” and would not deliberately drive his car into pedestrians. She says the only situation she can imagine could have influenced her son is a bout of PTSD.
She said Isaiah was an Army sharpshooter in Iraq and was discharged because of his PTSD.
She said her son graduated from Sacramento State University after returning from Iraq in 2007, and had “a bad episode” with PTSD about two years ago.
A man who witnessed the crash said that when he approached the driver’s side of the car, the man was repeatedly saying, “Thank you, Jesus.”
Don Draper, of San Jose, said he was enraged at seeing the Toyota Corolla slam into pedestrians at high speed, then crash into a tree. He said he marched up to the car ready to confront the driver.
Draper said the driver was crouched over the steering wheel, unhurt. The car was hissing steam and the airbag had deployed. He said the driver’s speech was not slurred and he did not look at him. Later, he saw the driver had climbed out of his car and was lying face down on the grass.