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Probe of Market Tragedy Continues

July 23, 2003|Li Fellers | Times Staff Writer

More than 290 witnesses have been interviewed and six search warrants served as the investigation continues into what caused a car to careen through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market last Wednesday, killing 10 people, according to a written statement released by police Tuesday.

Investigators are still seeking 43 individuals for interviews and expect the investigation to take six weeks.

A post-crash reconstruction of the incident will be conducted by the California Highway Patrol.

The effort is an elaborate, second-by-second reconstruction of the incident utilizing witness statements, pictures and video taken at the scene, said CHP public affairs officer Wendy Moore.

When the investigation is completed, a determination will be made on whether any charges will be filed against the driver, 86-year-old Santa Monica resident George Russell Weller.

Weller's license was revoked by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, effective Monday.

According to the statement, the Santa Monica Police Department asked the DMV to review Weller's driving privileges the day after the crash.

Officials also are inspecting Weller's vehicle to determine whether mechanical malfunction played a role in the incident.

The two-page written statement was released shortly after the cancellation of a news conference to announce recent developments.

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