CAMPBELL (BCN) — A 60-year-old man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of murder in a suspected DUI-related collision where his stepdaughter died after a pickup truck drove over her on a driveway in Campbell, police said.
Police had the suspect Filip Handl, of Campbell, booked into the Santa Clara County jail on suspicion of murder after detectives conferred with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office on the case, police Capt. Gary Berg said.
Berg said police do not believe that the suspect intended to strike the woman with the truck and it is possible that he had intended to drive in reverse but went forward by mistake, crashing into the victim as she stood in the driveway.
But it was clear that he made the decision to drive while intoxicated, admitted in his statements to police to having done so before and that is what caused her death, Berg said.
“He understood how dangerous it could be and what could happen,” he said.
Police were called at 4:47 p.m. Thursday on a report that a drunken driver had struck a pedestrian on Lovell Avenue in Campbell.
Officers arrived and observed a 41-year-old woman, who was Handl’s stepdaughter, underneath the front of a full-sized GMC pickup truck in the driveway of a residence, police said.
The woman was not breathing and had no pulse. Personnel from the Santa Clara County Fire Department inflated airbags under the truck to raise it off of the victim, but after attempts to save her life, she was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
Police contacted Handl, who had lived with the victim at the residence, and determined that he was under the influence of alcohol. A test showed later he had a blood-alcohol level well above the legal limit, police said.
Other members of the victim’s family were present at the time of the collision, Berg said.
Investigators also considered statements from witnesses, evidence at the scene and Handl’s previous DUI conviction in the 1970s prior to arresting him on suspicion of murder, police said.
The district attorney’s office will decide on a possible charge or charges to file in court against Handl, Berg said.
It is the first murder in Campbell this year, after one last year, police said.