Two men have died a day after filmmaker Eric Red plowed his sport utility vehicle into a crowded pool hall near the UCLA campus Wednesday. Red remained in critical condition after trying to cut his throat after the crash, police said.
Detectives had not determined whether the collision was accidental or deliberate because they were unable to interview the driver, Officer Dan Kemble of the West Traffic Division said Thursday.
Red, 39, best known as the writer of violent, edgy horror-actioners such as Kathryn Bigelow’s “Near Dark” and “Blue Steel” as well as the 1986 Rutger Hauer starrer “The Hitcher,” was on a ventilator, Kemble said. Hospital spokesman Alan Eyerly said Red was listed in critical condition at UCLA Medical Center.
A 26-year-old died Thursday at the hospital. A 31-year-old man was listed in good condition, but Eyerly said he did not know their identities.
Noah Baum, 34, of West Hollywood, was run down and killed as Red’s 1994 black Jeep Cherokee jumped a curb and smashed into Q’s Billiard Club at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“We heard a loud crash,” and the SUV came plowing toward patrons, one injured clubgoer told KCAL-TV on Thursday.
“We all ran,” the man said. “It was a little faster than me and it caught me on my right side and pushed me across the floor up against the bar… it was pandemonium.”
The Jeep had rear-ended a Honda stopped for a red light at an intersection, police said.
The Honda driver got out and saw the other driver slumped over the Jeep’s steering wheel but “moments later the Jeep accelerated,” a police statement said.
The Cherokee shoved the car aside, demolished a tree, drilled through a bus bench, lurched over a curb and roared into the front section of the club, coming to rest inside the front bar in a hail of shattered glass and splintered wood.
The driver then got out “and began to slash his throat using a broken glass from the bar. He was restrained by other patrons,” police said.
A preliminary evaluation indicated he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Kemble said.
The driver and at least seven other people were taken to local hospitals, Kemble said.
Two men were treated at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and released, spokesman Ted Braun said. He identified them as Jeffrey Caltabiano, 24, of Los Angeles, who had a broken left leg, and Steven Jungles, 34, of Los Angeles, who had leg cuts.
Conditions of the other victims could not immediately be determined on Thursday.
Red was collaborating with Artisan on his first pic in five years, a thriller titled “Teachers Pet.” Pic was set to be written and directed by Red. He previously directed films such as “Bad Moon” starring Mariel Hemingway and “Undertow,” which he penned with Bigelow.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)