Man who fell to his death was facing felony charges
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man who fell to his death from a multi-story parking
structure in front of horrified attendees at a social-justice rally at Civic
Center Plaza was awaiting trial for a traffic accident that killed a Caltrans
worker at a road-work site near El Centro, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Kyle Wyborn Pearson, 42, plunged off the eighth floor of the building
about 3:15 p.m. Monday, said Jeffrey Brooker of the Imperial County District
Attorney's Office. Pearson, a San Diego resident, died on the walkway where he
landed, near Downtown Johnny Brown's restaurant.
Authorities have yet to rule on whether the death was an accident or a
suicide. Police initially said Pearson appeared to have intentionally jumped,
but witnesses attending the ongoing Occupy San Diego demonstration nearby
reported that he seemed to have lost his balance and accidentally tumbled off
the parkade, possibly while hanging protest signs on the structure.
At the time of his death, Pearson was facing charges of vehicular
manslaughter while intoxicated and hit-and-run in connection with the on-duty
freeway death of veteran state transportation worker Jaime Obeso, 53.
Shortly after noon June 7, Pearson allegedly drove his black 2003 Ford
Ranger through a row of safety cones surrounding a rest-stop construction site
alongside Interstate 8. The truck struck Obeso, a 22-year Caltrans employee, at
about 50 mph, killing him at the scene. The vehicle then continued out of the
area, Brooker said.
About a half-mile away, the pickup skidded out of control on a curving
stretch of roadway and overturned, trapping Pearson inside until emergency
crews could free him.
Pearson, who allegedly was under the influence of marijuana when the
crash occurred, faced a maximum of 17 years in prison if convicted, though he
had no prior criminal history, the prosecutor said.
Brooker said he learned about Pearson's death from a defense attorney on
Tuesday, after the defendant missed a pretrial hearing. Pearson had bailed
out of jail in August.