Venice Boardwalk Crash: Details Emerge About Victim Killed on Honeymoon

Image: Venice Boardwalk Crash: Details Emerge About Victim Killed on Honeymoon Memorial for Alice Gruppioni on the Venice Beach boardwalk.

Monday, 05 Aug 2013 02:29 PM

By Megan Anderle

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After a Venice Beach boardwalk crash killed a woman and injured 11 bystanders, details are surfacing about the 38-year-old transient who allegedly plowed his car into the crowded Los Angeles-area boardwalk this weekend.

The victim was an Italian tourist, Alice Gruppioni, 32, who was honeymooning with her husband of two weeks, Christian. Alice died in the Saturday evening crash a few hours later, at her husband’s side at an area hospital.

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Surveillance cameras on the Venice Beach boardwalk caught the tragic accident.

The footage shows a man parking his black car alongside the seaside boardwalk at sunset, taking in the idyllic scene for several minutes before getting back into the car and speeding into the crowd. Hundreds of people, who were walking lazily or sitting at cafes, rush in different directions as the car speeds through, going 60 miles per hour, one bystander estimated, according to "Good Morning America."

Nathan Campbell is being held on $1 million bail and is charged with murder. Police say he accelerated his Dodge Avenger as he plowed into pedestrians on the boardwalk and then reportedly abandoned the car a few miles away from the incident. He turned himself in two hours later.

Police are investigating whether drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident.

It is unclear whether he has a lawyer.

The newlywed couple had been touring the U.S. Southwest, and Gruppioni's husband posted photos of their trip to Facebook. Describing their last moments in Venice Beach, Calif., "We were happy holding hands. Then, everything changed," he told "Good Morning America."

Christian, who was also injured, didn't leave Gruppioni's side as she lay dying on the boardwalk.

"It was just really sad to see because that guy was just sitting down to her left, just talking to her at first," eyewitness Richard Ruiz told "GMA." "Right when I got there, she was speaking little. But after that, the next thing you know she just stopped talking.”

Alice was a manager for a family business that makes radiators. Her father, Valerio Gruppioni, runs the company. Valerio Gruppioni was formerly president of the Bologna soccer team, according to ABC station KABC-TV. The couple's families have arrived in Los Angeles.

The other 11 people injured were pedestrians along the boardwalk, emergency officials said. One person was reported in critical condition, two were said to be in serious condition, and eight others reported minor injuries, KABC reported, but five of those injured have been released from area hospitals.

Witnesses said that when Campbell allegedly drove onto the boardwalk, he "was looking for blood."

"He had to have pressed his foot to the gas, pedal to the metal, because his tires started screeching," witness Landon Blackburn told KABC. "I saw him, and he was looking for blood. That guy, his intention was to kill people."

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