Sunnyvale crash victim: 'It happened so fast, I'm hoping everyone is okay'
SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KTVU) - Fifteen-year-old Miguel Balbuena is walking with crutches Wednesday night. He’s one of eight pedestrians who was hit and survived a horrific crash in Sunnyvale. Police identified the driver as 34-year-old Isaiah Peoples of Sunnyvale.
Authorities said Peoples intentionally drove into the group as they were waiting at the light on El Camino Real. Police said it was not an act of terrorism.
“I can't really stretch at all,” said Balbuena. “I can't walk on it.”
Balbuena said he was sitting on his bike waiting to cross the street on El Camino Real and Sunnyvale Saratoga when he heard a woman screaming. He turned away but could not escape the car's impact.
“The car hit me with the frame of my bike and the metal pole it squeezed my leg,” said Balbuena.
Balbuena said the driver came out of nowhere and made no attempt to avoid the group.
“He accelerated because he didn't brake,” said Balbuena. “When he crashed the tree over here he accelerated even more.”
Balbuena’s 24-year-old cousin was also hit. He’s also on crutches suffering a broken toe.
“All evidence obtained indicates this was an intentional act. that the driver purposely sped up and ran into the crosswalk and purposely tried to hit the pedestrians,” said Capt. Jim Choi of Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety.
Earlier in the day, police searched Peoples Sunnyvale home with the assistance of the FBI.
“As of right now there is no indication the suspect Peoples was involved or associated with any terrorist organizations,” said Choi.
Police said there were eight victims total and six them of them were rushed to several hospitals including a 13-year-old listed in critical condition. She’s in the Intensive Care Unit at Stanford Medical Center.
“We all are worried,” said neighbor and friend Aarti Chendake. “We are waiting for some news that she should be fine, she should be okay.”
Chendake knows the young girl's family. The girl was with her 45-year-old father and nine-year-old brother at the time the youngest victim when they went out for a walk. They live less than half a mile away from the crash site. The young girl is a seventh grader at Sunnyvale Middle School.
“It’s really tragic, it's sad,” said Gatti. “We knew the girl. We were friends.”
Peoples is currently at Santa Clara County’s Main Jail, where he could face eight counts of attempted murder.