Warrant served at home of taxi driver involved in Stingaree cras - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Warrant served at home of taxi driver involved in Stingaree crash

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San Diego (CBS 8) - CBS 8 has obtained a copy of the search warrant served at the home of the taxi driver involved in a serious crash early Saturday morning outside of the Stingaree nightclub in San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter. Police said 25 people were injured, including a 45-year-old woman who nearly lost her leg.

The document reveals what police took from the home of the taxi driver, 52-year-old Sam Hassan Daly. The list of items seized includes medication, an iPhone, Arabic writing, a final notice for water bill, passport, a lap top, hard drives, flash drives, and a digital camera.

A man who identified himself as Magdi and Daly's best friend, told CBS8 he has spoken with Daly, who used to be a dermatologist in Egypt. Magdi said, "He was very traumatized. He is very concerned about the people. He didn't mean to hurt anyone." Magdi said Daly indicated to him that he blacked out before the crash, and wasn't aware of what had happened until he was pulled out of his car and beaten up by people in the crowd. Magdi says Daly remains in the hospital with a broken nose and other injuries. Magdi believes Daly is diabetic, and recently changed medication, which could have affected his state of alertness. No charges have been filed against him in this case. Court records show Daly received citations in 2004 for driving on the wrong side of the road, and in 2006 for leaving the scene of an accident. He also received a ticket last year for running a stop sign. That case is still pending.

Meantime, the most seriously injured victim, 45 year old Dominique Gambale, is thanking her friends and family for their well wishes. "I know that I am in good hands here at UC San Diego Medical Center. My care has been exceptional, and I have been amazed at the level of skill and comprehensive efforts provided by the trauma and orthopaedic surgery team," said Gambale in a statement. "I only ask for everyone to respect my privacy, and that of my family, as I take time to heal."

On Monday, Doctor Paul Girard, orthopaedic surgeon at UCSD Medical Center, said Gambale's leg was not severed, but that she experienced an extreme crushing injury to her right leg, which was still attached at the time of her injury. He said in addition to a tibia fracture, she has a large open wound, which will require the care of a multidisciplinary team of top orthopaedic, vascular and plastic surgeons.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. Read CBS 8's earlier story below.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Investigators sought Monday to determine why a taxi drifted off a Gaslamp District thoroughfare and plowed into a crowd outside a nightclub, injuring nearly three dozen people, including a woman who lost part of a leg.

The cab driver veered off Sixth Avenue, just south of Island Avenue, crossed a crowded sidewalk and smashed into the street-facing facade of Stingaree restaurant-bar shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday, according to San Diego police.

The crash tore off a 45-year-old woman's right leg below the knee, SDPD traffic Lt. Rick O'Hanlon said. Physicians at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest were able to reattach the limb and were "cautiously optimistic" about the patient's prospects for recovery, the lieutenant told reporters.

A total of 33 other pedestrians suffered less serious injuries, either from the wreck itself or during an ensuing scuffle. Several were left with concussions, while others had cuts, scrapes, bruises and muscle strains, according to O'Hanlon.

The nightclub building sustained minor damage in the wreck, the lieutenant said.

The involved Emerald Cab driver, 52-year-old Sam Hassan Daly, told police he blacked out moments before the crash. There was no immediate indication that intoxication played a role in the crash.

The taxi was traveling at about 15 mph when it veered off the roadway, a speed slow enough to prevent further serious injuries or fatalities, police said.

Moments after the impact, Daly began backing up his cab, prompting a group of panicked and infuriated people to grab him and drag him out of the vehicle, believing he was trying to flee.

"People were rather upset, kicking and punching," witness Joshua Montana, 31, said. "He was saying, `Oh my God, oh my God' when trying to pull the car away."

After officers intervened and restored order, Daly was taken to an emergency room for treatment of a broken nose. It was unknown if he suffered the injury in the crash or during the subsequent melee, O'Hanlon said.

Kathy Soto, who had spent the evening as guest of honor with her fiance at a surprise pre-wedding party at Stingaree, blogged about the aftermath of the accident.

She described walking to her car and getting a text message informing her that members of her group had been hit by the taxi. She ran back to the club, where she saw the unfolding chaos.

"The streets were filled with people," she wrote. "Yelling. Screaming. Fighting. Crying. I could hear the terror in people's screaming."

She said she found her brother-in-law on the ground with one of his shoes ripped off and his jeans torn. He told her he had tried in vain to shove her sister-in-law out of the way of the cab.

A friend of theirs, Paul Jimenez of Linda Vista, also tried to help other victims, despite having been struck himself, Soto wrote.

"I got hit and my legs got taken out and I ended up on the hood," Jimenez, an emergency medical technician, said. "The first thing I did after I got hit was to check myself out to make sure I was all right. ... I'm just thankful no one died."

As of Monday afternoon, all the injured except the woman whose leg was severed have been released from hospitals.

It remains unclear if Daly will face charges in connection with the accident.

"Detectives are continuing to follow-up on this (crash) and are in the process of interviewing witnesses and reconstructing the events surrounding this incident," O'Hanlon said.

Operators of Emerald Cab have declined repeated requests for comment.

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