MARTINEZ, Calif. - The woman who went on a hit and run rampage Monday outside divorce court, may have tried to drive her car off the Benicia Bridge, before parking and jumping to her death.
The bizarre events began about 10:30 a.m., in downtown Martinez, when the woman mowed down her estranged husband and his two companions as they crossed an intersection.
"I heard a big noise and right away I ran over," construction worker Sergio Margarito told KTVU, sharing his cell-phone video, taken from the rooftop where he was working.
"All the police came, in like three minutes, everybody was here," Margarito said, " and people were laying on the ground, bleeding, they couldn't move."
Martinez Police say the Ford Focus was a rental car with Nevada license plates.
"I just know they were going through some sort of divorce hearing," Detective Miles Williamson told KTVU.
Moments before the crash, the driver had been in family court with her estranged husband. Surveillance video from the intersection shows that she exited the building, and moved her car, parking in a position to hit him and the others when they crossed the street.
Photos from the scene show two men and a woman, bleeding and being tended to by paramedics.
Police say it appeared the driver made it a point to back up and run over the fallen woman twice.
"She was in court with them, and then makes an intentional act to hit three people. We have details that she reversed and ran over someone again," described Williamson.
The driver sped off and twenty minutes later came reports that the same car was stopped on the Benicia- Martinez Bridge, less than three miles away.
"It looked like she was hitting the center median as well as the wall, then she parks, comes out of her vehicle and jumps over the side," said Williamson.
The 60-year-old woman plunged more than 100 feet to her death.
Witnesses told CHP she had been veering from side to side, as if trying to crash through the walls.
"We don't know if she was trying to take the vehicle off the bridge, and was unsuccessful, but the vehicle had a lot of damage," noted Det. Williamson.
The bailiff , who'd been in the courtroom for the divorce hearing said there were no outbursts, and no indication of the violence that would follow.
"There's a lot that goes on behind those closed doors," said passerby Ron Afshar of Walnut Creek.
Afshar said he was horrified, but not entirely surprised that a divorce dispute could trigger such emotional distress and actions.
"After 10 years of custody issues, I always tell people before you get married, you should spend a day or two at the family courthouse just to see what it's like on the other side," he said somberly.
Police say given how premeditated this hit and run was, the victims were fortunate to receive only moderate injuries.
"The whole windshield was caved in and cracked, so it looks like more than one of them hit that windshield," observed Williamson.