Venice car crash: Family of dead woman grateful for prayers

The family of an Italian woman killed in a hit-and-run on the Venice boardwalk while on her honeymoon thanked authorities in a statement released after the driver was charged.

“The family wishes to express our sincere gratitude for the thoughts and prayers from so many around the world,” read the statement released on behalf of 32-year-old Alice Gruppioni’s family by their attorney, Joe Marchelewski.

“We appreciate the professional attention and kindness shown by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office while advising us this morning of the impending prosecution of  Nathan Louis Campbell,” it continued.

Campbell, 38, was charged with murder and other crimes Tuesday for allegedly driving his car into pedestrians Saturday on the Venice boardwalk.

He faces 16 counts of assault with a deadly weapon and 17 counts of hit-and-run, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

He is also charged with murder in Gruppioni’s death. At least 16 others were injured.

“No words can adequately express the grief and sorrow we are feeling as we mourn the loss of a beautiful person, family member and young bride,” the Gruppioni family said. “Thank you all for your concerns as we begin to search for answers.”

Campbell’s public defender, Philip Dube, told the Associated Press the weekend incident was accidental.

"I don't believe he intentionally tried to hit anybody," Dube told the AP. "He's profoundly sad, he is profoundly depressed, that he has potentially ended somebody's life. I think this was a horrible accident."

Campbell is accused of driving his 2008 Dodge Avenger onto the boardwalk shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday, when witnesses said he appeared to aim the vehicle at pedestrians.

Authorities said Campbell later abandoned the vehicle at Ocean Park Boulevard and Beverly Avenue and turned himself in to Santa Monica police about two hours later.

Sources familiar with the investigation said Campbell made spontaneous statements to police at the time of his arrest that implicated himself in the hit-and-run.

Bail for Campbell was set at $1.48 million. If convicted, he faces up to life prison. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

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Joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna

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