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Saturday, December 9, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Saturday, December 9, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Crowd of Zombies Blamed for Accident

SAN DIEGO (CN) - Terrified by a crowd of zombies, one of whom shattered a deaf man's windshield, the driver ran over a woman during San Diego's Zombie Walk, the injured woman claims in court.

Cynthia Campbell sued San Diego, Zombie Walk: San Diego, and the driver, Matthew Pocci, on April 1 in Superior Court.

Zombie Walk: San Diego is one of many spinoffs of the city's famous Comic-Con convention, an annual event that began in 1970. Campbell claims the city and its police chief did a poor job coordinating the Zombie Walk through the city's Gaslamp district and inadequately staffed it, creating gridlock that led to her injury.

Dressed in torn clothing, with gruesome makeup and buckets of fake blood, the zombies-for-a day "lurch like corpses" through the streets, Campbell says. She was photographing the zombies when she was run over.

Pocci had to stop his car at an intersection to let the zombies lurch past. He and both of his adult passengers are deaf, making it difficult for them to communicate with the zombies, and an 8-year-old boy in the car with them was terrified.

"Feeling trapped and also concerned for the safety of his passengers and himself, defendant Pocci honked his vehicle's horn and inched his vehicle slowly into the intersection in an attempt to part the crowd and cross Island Avenue," Campbell says in the complaint.

The crowd of zombies did not like that.

"(S)ome of the parade participants and spectators surrounded defendant Pocci's vehicle. This scared defendant Pocci and his passengers even more," the complaint states.

"Overcome by fear that the crowd of people blocking the streets would attempt to enter his vehicle and possibly cause property damage or injury to himself and his passengers, defendant Pocci attempted to leave the scene by continuing to honk his horn and by inching forward. As he did so, participants and spectators in the parade jumped onto his vehicle and made threatening gestures, further causing defendant Pocci to fear for the safety of himself and his passengers. As defendant Pocci continued to move his vehicle through the crowd, one member of the crowd pounded on the windshield, causing it to shatter."

Though she was gravely injured, Campbell appears to bear no animus toward Pocci.

"Despite his efforts to avoid causing injury to anyone in the crowd of participants and spectators, defendant Pocci struck plaintiff Campbell with his vehicle, knocked her to the ground, and ran over her, causing serious injury," the complaint states.

Campbell seeks damages for negligence and dangerous condition of public property.

She is represented by John McGuire Jr., with Thorsnes Bartolotta & McGuire.

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