Driver pleads not guilty in killing of 3 homeless people

SAN DIEGO — A 71-year-old driver accused of plowing into homeless people camping on a downtown San Diego sidewalk, killing three, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to gross vehicule manslaughter.

Craig Martin Voss also entered pleas to driving under the influence of drugs, causing injury, and could face more than 20 years in prison if convicted, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Authorities haven't identified the drugs Voss allegedly used.

Voss was driving in a tunnel on March 15 when his Volvo station wagon jumped the curb and hit people on the sidewalk, including some camped in tents, police said.

The crash killed Randy Ferris, 65; Walter Jones, 61, and Rodney Diffendal, 40. Seven other people were injured, three of them seriously.

Voss stopped after the crash and tried to help the victims, police said.

A homeless count taken last year found more than 7,600 unhoused people in San Diego County, a 5% decrease from 2019.