A 75-year-old man has been arrested after a Tustin police investigation found he deliberately turned his car off the road in a suicide attempt that ended up killing a pedestrian, authorities said Monday.
Jian Qiao of Tustin was arrested May 16 on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter in connection with the March 29 crash and pedestrian death, the Tustin Police Department said in a statement.
Qiao is accused of deliberately turning his BMW from Newport Avenue into the wall of a 5 Freeway underpass in an attempt to kill himself, police said. The vehicle struck the victim on the sidewalk due to the abrupt turn and unsafe speed, police said.
It “does not appear” Qiao intended to hit the pedestrian, but he was determined to be at fault, police said in the statement.
Mohammad Seyyed Haghi, 70, was the pedestrian killed in the crash, police told the Orange County Register.
At the time of the crash, Tustin police said officers had gone to the driver’s home to inform residents that Qiao had been hurt in the fatal crash and was hospitalized. When officers got to the home in the 200 block of Sixth Street, they found a deceased woman inside.
Police did not explain the relationship between the two at the time except to say she was his “next of kin.”
There was no indication drugs or alcohol were involved in the crash, authorities said in March.