Two people struck and killed by jilted driver

October 16, 2010

An Oceano man killed two people in Pismo Beach in an attempt to harm himself in front of a restaurant his former girlfriend was working in, at about 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, sources said.

Jerardo Iriarte, 19, of Oceano drove his car off Highway 101 in Pismo Beach and struck two pedestrians killing them. Iriarte survived and was transported to Arroyo Grande Hospital with moderate injuries.

Shortly before the accident, Iriarte had been in Marie Callender’s restaurant at 2131 Price Street arguing with a former girlfriend who refused to see him anymore. Sources report that Iriarte was clearly angry as he left the restaurant and took off in his car.

Moments later, Iriarte drove southbound on Highway 101 at a high rate of speed, steered the black Toyota Corolla towards the restaurant and drove through the chain link fence that separated the highway from Price Street. His car continued traveling south on Price Street where it struck 63-year-old Bruce Mallin and his 59-year-old wife Marjorie Mallin.

The Mallins left Tumwater Washington to become full time travelers in 2008. They posted regularly on their blog, Bruce and Margie’s Full Time Journey.

“This morning they were taking a typical walk in Pismo and someone driving a car struck them both down,” the couples daughter Stephanie said on their blog earlier today. “Unfortunately, neither of them survived this tragic accident.

“The individual was attempting to commit suicide and struck them where they walked. The police are treating this as a homicide at this time.”

Police arrested Iriarte on two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. He was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail with bail set at $50,000.

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What I find interesting is that so many who post here don’t seem to appreciate the irony of their statements attacking the Mr. Iriarte.

People who do terrible things like Mr Iriarte did often do so because they are feeling insecure, unloved and rejected by society and don’t know how to deal with their emotions in a healthy manner, and often choose to channel those emotions and energy into hurting themselves or others.

All the meaningless and mean attacks against Mr Iriarte on this forum are examples of a community that doesn’t know how to deal with its emotions in a healthy manner and doesn’t have any compassion for people with severe, and dangerous emotional problems.

If there are others in our community facing the same sort of emotional upheaval and violent emotions as Mr. Iriarte was, what would you suggest? Will you make some mean, sarcastic or insulting comment, or do you have something constructive or healthy to offer?

If Mr. Iriarte has decided to lash out because he is feeling insecure, unloved, and rejected, then why wasn’t he held for a psychological examination? If he was facing “emotional upheaval,” and “violent emotions,” then he was a danger to himself and to others. Why let him out on bail when he is in an emotional crisis that has already resulted in two deaths? Why not 5150 him? Are you suggesting someone in the police department or county mental health has dropped the ball? Where do you draw the line between “violent emotions” and sociapathic or even psycotic behaviour? How many have to die before Mr. Iriarte gets some help?

Those are fair questions, SLOchild. But a lot of people here are proceeding as if they already have the answers and by implication are criticizing the work of professionals. But what, other than emotions and news reports are they basing these potentially slanderous statements upon?

I do have an answer to one of your questions: So far two people have died and I don’t see many people on this forum wanting to do anything whatsoever to help him. Worse, many seem to relish kicking him while he’s down.

I personally am outraged that he was released on only $50k bail. Whatever he is feeling, whatever happened to cause his vehicle to fly off the freeway and kill two innocent people, the FACT is that two people died when HIM and HIS car hit THEM.

The Twin Cities employee charged with lewd acts is being held on $235k bail, and no one is dead at his hand. I think Mr. Irriarte should have been remanded until more facts were learned.

SLOchild wrote:

“I think Mr. Irriarte should have been remanded until more facts were learned.”

Hey SLO, do you mean more facts learned by YOU? Why should the entire justice system go into a holding pattern until YOU are satisfied that YOU have learned enough facts to “approve” of the judge’s decision?

I suspect you really have no idea whatsoever as to the extent of facts that were considered by the judge. Am I correct?

I can certainly imagine why bail might be stiffer for someone committing sex crimes than it would be for someone who tried to commit suicide and killed people accidentally. I don’t know enough of the facts to feel confident in making a final judgment on this, but I think it is reasonable to assume some sex crime culprit might be more of a danger than a man who tried to kill himself. Do you think I am being unreasonable?

Furthermore, your personal “outrage” should have no weight in the decision to grant bail. That’s a personal problem you need to handle on your own (preferably legally.)

Last word.

Not likely. But it’s interesting that’s your reply immediately after I make solid, rational points that undermine your argument.

But I understand. If we consider this a competitive debate, better to shut up now and cut your losses.

But if you consider this a discussion aimed at generating greater understanding and making our community a better, more peace-loving place, I encourage you to continue responding to your hearts content. But don’t expect automatic applause for or mindless acceptance of your ideas and attitudes.

And if having the last word is important to you, I encourage you to try for it.

Don’t feed the troll please :-)

Wait a minute, doesn’t your comment imply you are ignoring your own advice?

And trying to personally attack others here, unfairly labeling them, and trying to marginalize people who don’t bow to your views is sort of rude and hypocritical, don’t you think?

I happen to think my views are as worthwhile as yours, perhaps more so. I’m not sure why you consider yourself so special that your words should be paid attention to at the same time you campaign to try to get others to ignore comments you don’t happen to like. It’s the lynch-mob mentality once again.

There is plenty of the same “implications,” criticizms,” and “potentially slanderous” statements about Donald Baker over where his story is printed. Why did you choose Mr. Iriarte’s story to blow a fuse over how people are reacting? None of us know anymore about what is going on with Mr. Baker, than we do Mr. Iriarte. Why suddenly defend the accused here?

No fuses are blown in my house, SLO. I’m not sure why you imagine otherwise.

As far as why I chose to comment, I think my comments speak for themselves. There is no sinister motive, hidden agenda or “blown fuse”.

Also – the poor girl who apparently rightly so broke up with this moron is saddled with guilt she should not have. Hopefully her life isn’t ruined too.

South, I can understand your concern and sympathy, but what makes you state, in absolute terms, that the “poor girl” is “saddled with guilt”? Do you know this for a fact, or are you imagining this to be true? Furthermore, calling the driver a “moron” is probably not accurate and seems to serve no good purpose other than trying to spread more grief and consternation and ill-will. Why do you feel compelled to strike out at him like that? What good do you imagine it will accomplish? I believe such comments only make the situation worse for everyone involved directly, and the community in general.

Wise – Not knowing the facts, you are probably correct at my jump to judgement. But here is my speculation:

This guy had a break up with a woman who probably knew he was damaged goods. He proves her right by making a dramatic gesture in front of her work (think her employers will keep her employed?). In doing that macho-drama, he kills two people.

Now if this woman is a person of conscience, don’t you think that she will be having some guilt issues? Wouldn’t you have some regrets?

As far as my term of moron. Apparently he wasn’t drunk or drugged. So his callous act of machismo was that of a person of an IQ of less that 60 – a moron.

Your statements Wiseguy are so very typical of a wrist wringer. Why do I strike out at him? You MORON – he just killed two innocent people! (Since you write coherently – I am using the epithet euphemistically).

So three people feel that this girl’s life should be ruined. Amazing.

Quick excuse for for vehicular homicide, “I fell asleep or didn’t get enough sleep (temporary physical or medical condition)”

Quick excuse for reckless driving with gross negligence, “No intent to kill, wanted to commit suicide (temporary insanity)”

Additional reasoning, his girlfriend caused him to do it.

Possibly new excuse “Was driving a Toyota and the brakes, gas pedal and steering failed, will sue Toyota”

He should have gone with the Toyota line. It might actually have been believable.

Homicide NOT suicide nor lack of sleep (he’s full of it!)!

The traffic was terrible at 4:00pm and yet the accident was around 7:00am. The CHP and Pismo PD were directing traffic. To add to that it was the Clam Festival. It made me think about what would happen had there been an emergency and the 5 cities needed to evacuate. But that’s another story.

This is very sad. I feel terrible for the Mallin family.

I passed by on the freeway at a few minutes to eight, there was police tape out and several police vehicles, distributed and orderly. the dark blue? sportish looking car was spun out and scraped along it’s side and the headlights were still on and bright.

Of course I didn’t know what happened.

It’s not far from where a few years ago there was a senseless shooting at the Denny’s.

Well in fairness to the cops, they probably want to investigate as much time at the crime scene as possible. This isn’t a normal car crash, it is a crime scene. They are going to be bringing serious charges against this young man, so I say give them a little lee way in doing their job right for the case, when it reachs court.

People were just giving the cops a bad time last week on the Destiny story for “possibly” not doing their jobs, so now they do, we can’t have it both ways.

The 5 Cities couldn’t be evacuated in under two days on the best traffic day. It’s not even in the realm of reality. The clam festival and the car show are both times when traffic is gridlocked no matter what. This incident made it worse, but I don’t think you can blame the incident or its handling. Fatalities require thorough investigation, and on weekends the proper personnel probably took a while to get there. Maybe it took longer than it COULD HAVE, but it certainly needs to take as long as it needs to take to get done right.

I wasn’t complaining about the way the police were handling it as a matter of fact they looked as if they were doing the best that they could. The CHP was trying to get traffic to move on the FWY, I don’t understand why people come to almost a complete stop to look at the scene,,,really stupid. They had electric signs telling motorist what to do, they had cops at the on ramps. They can only do so much.

You are right SLORider, it would take a good two days to evacuate the area. Those pamphlets they send out regarding evacuation in case of an incident at Diablo or some natural disaster are a joke.

It is amazing that they don’t put a plan in place like the Gulf states do for hurricanes. They put freeway traffic flow on both North and Southbound lanes heading North. They usually move a large volume in a couple days. Why they haven’t planned here?? Who knows.

As for moving a large volume in a day or less. Sadly it will never happen in an emergency. It is statisically impossible to put that many cars on the road at once and move them in under a day. Just my humble opinion.

Beenthere wrote:

“It is statisically impossible to put that many cars on the road at once and move them in under a day. Just my humble opinion.”

The way you phrased that sounds like you are trying to convey a FACT. A “fact” that has nothing factual about it.

It’s just way too easy to spew out all kinds of vacuous, meaningless and misleading and inflammatory statements and then, to cover your butt, finish off with “Just my humble opinion.”


actually, i think he’s kind of right… it’s not a problem of statistics.. it’s a math problem. How many cars are there, how many cars per/unit of time equals how long would it take. But you need those facts to calculate the solution, and the poster never presents either.

Wow it’s a math problem and not statistics??? Gee guess you better tell all those people in school who took statistics for MATH that they didn’t take math. As for the calculate solution if you want it go look it up on the net. I found many a site in a short time. I’m not here to do your homework.

Hey “wiseguy”:

Are you a close personal friend of Mr. Iriarte? You defend him with the zealous of a parent or criminal defense lawyer. Actually, I believe you just like to hear yourself talk….or better yet, you just like to watch yourself type. Doesn’t it sadden you that the only efforts you can make from all your rage is to counter attack people’s responses having made no point of your own? Perhaps you are a “guy,” but we have yet to experience the “wise.”

SLOchild, your personal attacks and insults against me are obviously irrelevant and suggest you are having a hard time finding a rational foundation for YOUR comments. Why do you feel compelled to to make such irrelevant, personal attacks?

Let me reiterate that I think it is foolish and fear mongering to spew completely unsubstantiated, inflammatory claims regarding evacuation plans and any other public safety issues regarding our community. Those types of statements could actually end up fouling up efforts to evacuate the public and cause lives to be lost. All for what?

Furthermore, I don’t see how my friendships are relevant to this discussion.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback, if you can refrain from the low-level insults, rude, childish comments, personal attacks and irrelevant “points.”

But if you have some “facts”, bring them on. I might appreciate them.

Ooops, almost forgot…..that was just my “humble opinion.”

Well I base it on the fact of what I mentioned in evacuting southern states. It takes them about two plus days. Well that sounds like it would be hard to get it done in under a day or half the time, if it takes them two now.

Plus they have a warning about hurricanes. If Diablo went bad it would be a matter of hours probably not even a day. So what instances do YOU have as a FACT that they have got this done someplace here in the states in a short time frame???

Momentary lapse of reason, with permanent consequences. Sorry to hear about this couple and this kid just screwed up his life.

Bail set at a measly $50K? He’s a killer!

While this kid made a terrible decision and should be held accountable, it has always been my understanding that bail is set in one of two ways. One are they a flight risk of leaving state or country. Second are they a risk to the general population. My guess is that, they are basing it on this and if the kid has no priors and with what his intent was (at least what we are told) then the kid is probably neither of the two mentioned.

BeenThereDoneThat: I’d say he is both a risk for leaving the state and/or country AND he is definitely a threat to the rest of the general population. He killed two innocent people because of his a selfish decision he decided to play out. What is to prevent him from doing the same thing today, tomorrow or any time in the near future? Lock him up !!

I’m not saying if he is or isn’t a threat. The poster put forth the question of bail amount. I was just commenting about the way in which they come up with it. Not saying it is always right, (just like sentencing) but just how the process works.

Hoozhoo wrote:

“I’d say he is both a risk for leaving the state and/or country AND he is definitely a threat to the rest of the general population.”

And this statement is based on what? Reading a news account in the media? Have you even talked with the suspect since the accident? Have you EVER talked with the suspect?

Hoozhoo, with you statement your are publicly criticizing the judgment of legal professionals and basically saying they don’t know what they are doing. Fine. But what do you base this on? What credentials do you have to act like you know more than the professionals and have the expertise to say they are screwing up and endangering the public?

Stop calling this idiot, killer, a kid. His lawyer will do that in court. Poor kid…no intent to harm anyone but himself…under emotional stress…deeply remorseful…etc.

All the while two innocent people are dead and gone. What did they do that morning? What were their last actions or thoughts?

This moron was machismo on steroids. He won’t get life, but he deserves it.

WHOA. Easy up hotrod. I wasn’t using kid to lesson what he did. I am 27 years older than him, so to me he’s a kid. That is the context in which it was used.

Second his actions are selfish and childish and not those of a man, so again what term would be appropreiate in your book??

i seem to recall a recent article ( i think it was the trib) was explaining that it’s the offense that determines bail amount, until a judge can factor in all those moderating circumstances.