In light of the run-in between a deaf driver and a crowd participating in a Comic-Con-related Zombie Walk that left an uninvolved 64-year-old woman injured, organizers have canceled a Zombie Walk scheduled for October.
In a Facebook post, Zombie Walk : San Diego confirmed the event, scheduled for Oct. 26, has been canceled.
At around 5:30 p.m. Saturday near Second and Island avenues, the 48-year-old driver and his family, all of whom were said to be deaf, were stopped at Second and Island, waiting for the crowd to pass, then slowly rolled the car forward in an attempt to get out of the area struck and injured the woman, San Diego Police Officer David Stafford said.
The driver told police his children were frightened by people beating on the car.
“The car windshield was shattered by the crowd,” Stafford said. “The family was scared so the father drove forward again trying to get away from the angry crowd.”
Other accounts had the driver shouting at people to get out the way.
The side of the car struck the woman, who fell under the vehicle, he said. The driver headed toward a nearby police officer, with angry “zombies” in tow. It was unclear if he would be cited in connection with the injury.
The injured woman, who may have suffered a broken arm, was not participating in the Zombie Walk, according to the event’s Facebook page. Video of what happened soon surfaced on YouTube, showing a black sedan plowing into the crowd.
In the video, one person could be heard yelling, “Flip that car,” as the black sedan was inching toward the crowd.
Sean Foley told U-T San Diego that he saw the car’s driver as he honked his horn and inched forward, then accelerated into the intersection after waiting for about 10 minutes. A few people stood in front of the car and yelled for the driver to stop, and at least one sat on the hood.
There were mixed responses to the accident on social media with some blaming Zombie Walk organizers for not obtaining a permit so that there would be police presence to protect spectators. Others say the driver was at fault for not waiting until the crowd clears. Organizers said the event was not a parade, so a permit was not required and that there were some police presence during the event.
Derron Pocci said in a Facebook comment to a Times of San Diego story about the accident that the crowd was at fault for causing the incident.
“It was angry drunk spectators who started vandalizing the deaf mans (sic) car by sitting on his hood and pounding on the windows because there were no police or traffic control to help monitor the situation,” he wrote. “The spectators then smashed the mans (sic) windshield when he began to drive forward to get them off his car which caused the deaf man to flee in fear to protect his family.”
Organizers of the event claimed the person who sat on the car was not part of the event.
“We absolutely do NOT condone the actions of those who sat on the car and it is in our walk guidelines not to approach or touch cars,” Zombie Walk organizers wrote in a Facebook post. “[It h]as been for a long time. It’s clear those people were not part of our walk.”
Zombie Walk : San Diego has on its website guidelines advising participants against impeding traffic or touching, pounding on cars, or windows or anyone not associated with the event.
Organizers are considering whether to continue the event next year, accord to the event’s Facebook page.
— City News Service contributed to this story