Investigation continues into horrific nightclub accident

There is some good news regarding that horrific weekend incident in the Gaslamp quarter. The most severely injured victim did not lose her leg, as was originally reported. KUSI's Ed Lenderman reports on the very latest in this horrific accident.

The news comes as San Diego police traffic investigators painstakingly recreate the accident and re-interview the cab driver, people at the scene, patrons of the Stingaree nightclub and security staff. They all say they've never witnessed anything like it.

Shortly before 2am Saturday, a taxicab, which had just stopped at a stop sign at the corner of 6th and Island, plowed into a crowd of people outside the popular nightspot. Thirty-five people were struck, but police say 36 were injured because the cabbie, 52-year-old Sam Hassan Daly, was beaten by some angry members of the crowd and his nose was broken.

San Diego police traffic investigators are looking into the possibility that Daly blacked out or fell asleep behind the wheel.

San Diego police say it is too early in the investigation to speculate on what, if any, charges may occur, but the lieutenant indicated criminal charges aren't likely if the driver blacked out or fell asleep, and at this point there's no indication that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The most seriously injured victim was a 45-year-old woman. Dominique Gambale's leg was badly mangled. Initial reports said her lower leg was severed, but we learned Monday that surgeons at UCSD hospital are trying to save the limb.

Credit also goes to Stingaree security guard Chad Starkey, who may have saved the woman's life when he used his necktie as a makeshift tourniquet.

Starkey is an ex-Marine, he appeared this morning on our Good Morning San Diego program. “Obviously we're trained in CPR, any emergency in the field, high volume, and that was definitely high volume,” said Starkey.

Attorney King Aminpour represents several of the victims and he said that they interviewed a witness at the scene who said the driver appeared to be dazed and in shock and confused, indicating he may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

The fact that the cab had just left the stop sign and was only going 15 miles-per-hour was a huge factor in there being no deaths or worse injuries to others than Gambale. As it was another man suffered a broken leg and several of the victims had concussions and lacerations. Police say the investigation could take weeks, because so many witnesses have to be interviewed.

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