remembering the last decade –

The Isla Vista Massacre 2/24/01

isla vista was a bubble. a safe, beautiful, debaucherous bubble.

how safe was it? despite having 25 foot cliffs border one long stretch of its most densely packed edge, the worst that would happen from the occasional drunken reveler who would stumble and fall upon the rocks below was a broken bone or two.

i used to joke that the angels would catch their fall.

rarely did anything mortally tragic ever happen at the party school until one particularly raucous February night.

the streets were packed on the two most partying stretches in IV: Del Playa and Sabado Tarde (often dubbed Sabado Party).

18-year-old David Attias, a rich kid from Santa Monica whose dad was a big time tv director (The Sopranos, The OC, Lost) lined up his 10-yr-old Saab at one end of Sabado and plowed through two blocks of horrified students enjoying a Friday night.

the chp estimated that he was going 50-60 mph through the crowd until he lost control and crashed into parked vehicles.

thats when he got out of the car and said “I am the angel of Death“.

four young people died. it could have easily been more.

SB Fire Chief Charlie Johnson said the street looked like a war zone. he told the Daily Cal, “There was a trail of broken car parts and bodies laying in the streets,” Johnson said. “There were dozens and dozens of kids in the street in shock. They were crying and screaming. It was a disaster scene you just wouldn’t expect to see.”

Attias was found guilty but also insane. he was charged with 60 years that he is serving in Patton State Hospital.

even though in reality, IV was just in the wrong place at the wrong time when “Crazy Dave” went off the deep end, any time i walk past that part of Sabado i think about how fragile we are. how one minute you can be just strolling from one fun party to the next and the next minute its all over.

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