Thursday, March 18, 2010

Man drives truck through brick wall, kills deaf woman in kitchen

Man drives truck through brick wall, kills deaf woman in kitchen

An 18-year-old San Bernardino man crashed a truck through a brick wall and into a house late Thursday, killing a woman who was standing in her kitchen.

Authorities suspect the man, Christopher Segura, may have been attempting suicide based on statements by witnesses, the lack of skid marks and other factors.

"Cars were damaged from cinder block flying over the house because the guy hit so hard," said neighbor Ken Morris. "It was like an explosion."

Glynna Rose Folkens, 45, died at Loma Linda University Medical Center at 10:44 p.m., San Bernardino County coroner's officials said.

Folkens, who had been deaf since birth, was going to the kitchen to get her mother something to drink about 9:30 p.m. when Segura came barreling down Blythe Street.

"He came fast, he wasn't stopping and he went flying," said Rosalba Ramirez.

Ramirez and her 14-year-old son had just returned from the store and were unloading groceries when they saw Segura crash through the wall.

Morris was watching television with his family when he heard the crash. He ran outside and saw pieces of concrete scattered everywhere. The crash was so intense, it sent cinder block flying at least 100 feet in a shower of debris that cracked windshields and dented car hoods.

Richard Appell, another neighbor, said he also heard the impact and ran to the house.

He found Folkens pinned between the truck and the stove.

"She had plates, bowls, pots and pans all over her," Appell said. "I had to rip out cabinets to get to her."

Fourteen firefighters came to the home in the 26200 block of Croyden Street and found a full-size truck had driven about 10 feet into a home.

Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to rescue both the woman and the driver, said San Bernardino fire spokesman Tom Rubio.

Witnesses saw a case of Budweiser in the Chevy Avalanche, but the California Highway Patrol does not suspect Segura was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Segura, who received moderate injuries in the crash, remained hospitalized at Loma Linda University Medical Center on Friday.

Segura was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter but will remain in the hospital until his condition improves, said CHP Officer Daniel Hesser.

Authorities said they took a blood sample to test for any drugs in his system.

Folkens' aunt, who declined to give her name, said Folkens had worked as a teacher's aide despite only being able to communicate with sign language.

"She was just a very loving, giving person," she said.

Anyone with additional information may call the San Bernardino CHP office, 909-383-4247.