EXCLUSIVE: Husband of woman killed in 2013 Venice Beach Boardwalk hit-and-run says he lost his future

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The husband of the Italian woman killed on the Venice Beach Boardwalk in 2013 spoke out exclusively to Eyewitness News about his wife's tragic death Thursday.

Christian Casadei came to California from Italy with his newlywed wife, Alice Gruppioni, in 2013, but their honeymoon ended in calamity.

"She was my future, my future, so that is what I lost," Casadei said.

Gruppioni was killed in a horrific crash on Aug. 3, 2013. The couple, who had been married for just two weeks, was among throngs of people on the Venice Beach Boardwalk when 38-year-old Nathan Campbell plowed through, injuring 16 people and killing Gruppioni. The incident was caught on various cameras along the boardwalk.

This week, Casadei faced Campbell for the first time during the suspect's murder trial.

"I don't see him. I don't think about him," Casadei said.

On the stand, Casadei spoke through a translator and recounted the moments leading up to his wife's death. He told Eyewitness News Thursday that it was wrenching, having to look at a huge photo of his late wife and tell the jury who she was.

"That person was my wife. It was very hard," Casadei said.

He told Eyewitness News he recently visited the boardwalk for the very first time since the crash with Gruppioni's aunt, Katia Gruppioni. To his shock, the opening where Campbell squeezed his car onto the pedestrian walk was still open.

"It's like that day. Nothing changed," he said.

Casadei's lawyer, Gregory L. Bentley, is suing the city of Los Angeles, alleging pedestrians are not properly protected at the boardwalk. The city says that the opening is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"It's incredible that the car can enter and stop your life in that place," Casadei said.

As a widower, he says he tries to remember the good times. This week, Casadei and Katia Gruppioni placed flowers on the boardwalk following a request from Alice Gruppioni's mother. She pretends her daughter is still on her honeymoon.

"She keeps on saying, 'I am just here waiting that she comes back, I'm still waiting that she comes back,'" Katia Gruppioni said.

Campbell has pleaded not guilty to murder, assault with a deadly weapon and hit-and-run charges. His trial is expected to last another 2-3 weeks.
Related Topics:
hit and runcar crashwoman killedtrialcourt casecourtLos AngelesVenice
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