Eccentric local known as “the Hoarder” dies from injuries in car crash at Sea World

by on July 7, 2011 · 15 comments

in Ocean Beach, Popular, San Diego

Newspapers and other items had to be cleared out of the car before the elderly man was extracted by fire-rescue. (Ch10News photo)

A local eccentric elderly man, known for hoarding things in his  car, died last night from injuries sustained during a midnight accident in front of Sea World.

The 70-something gentleman – known to some other locals as “the Hoarder” – was hit by a youthful driver when the younger guy missed a turn and started backing up and hit the other, older, white car head-long which was driven by the Hoarder.  Some believe the Hoarder lived in Point Loma, while others have seen his easily-recognized vehicle around OB.

The Fire-Rescue had trouble getting to the elderly victim as his car “was packed with newspapers and other items,” according to news reports.

San Diego  Battalion Chief Steve Ricci told Channel 10 News :

“Seemed like he was a little bit of a pack rat, had all kinds of objects and trash and that kind of stuff… So that had to be cleared out of the vehicle before we actually could do the extraction to get him out and get him onto a backboard safely.”

The elderly man was rushed to Scripps Mercy Hospital where he died from the injuries.

The youthful driver of the other car was reported to be 15 and had five passengers in the SUV he was driving. Police said that there was alcohol found in the SUV but the driver is not believed to have been under the influence.  One of his passengers was also rushed to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

A reporter from SignOnSanDiego stated that the 15 year old was driving his parents SUV without their permission, and filed this:

The teenager was heading west on Sea World Drive in the family 1998 Toyota sedan and missed his exit to Ingraham Street, police traffic unit Lt. Rick O’Hanlon said.

O’Hanlon said the youth threw the car in reverse and started backing. He collided with another westbound car, a 1979 Mercury sedan driven by the older man, who lived in Ocean Beach.

The teen reportedly ran away and hid in some bushes nearby, but police found him. His parents were contacted to come to the crash scene, O’Hanlon said.

Police have not released the names of anyone involved. Community Relations Officer David Surwilo confirmed to us that he had heard of “the Hoarder.” Some also knew him as “the duct tape guy” as apparently he used tape to keep things together.

Tip o’hat to Ed Baier and Claudia Jack.


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Seth July 7, 2011 at 12:09 pm

That’s sad… often wondered about that guy.



scott July 8, 2011 at 9:33 am

I believe he lived in the perfectly fitting house on the block of saratoga closest to the beach.


Frank Gormlie July 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm

Channel 8 news is saying the man’s name is Jim Mullins.


MaryLou July 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Very sad.


S.K. July 7, 2011 at 10:31 pm

I thought about that guy many times. I always wanted to talk to him, but never asked a question or said a word. I would love to know his story.

I feel bad for the young kid too. I did some really stupid things in my youth. I still do on occasion, but this will probably haunt him for a long time. He is most likely changed forever.


Sidney August 7, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Next time, and please don’t feel bad, but next time. Ask a person their story. Almost everyone wants to share and yet they never feel heard.

Tell me yours, S.K. Over here.


Gail Powell July 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm

God Bless Jim. He was an almost daily fixture at the 7-Eleven on Adrian St. He bought a sandwich and banana there almost every day, according to franchise manager Janelle. The hostess at Perry’s Breakfast House restaurant over on Pacific Highway was very shaken when I told her the sad news. Jim ate there a lot-yes, reading a newspaper at the counter. May that fine gentleman rest in peace.


Kenloc July 8, 2011 at 11:28 am

The news report I watched said he was a physicist for 50 years.


Kristin C. July 10, 2011 at 10:31 am

Really interesting stuff about his life and family and career.


oburntout July 10, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Geez, if you do not know enough to report his correct name; do not dehumanize him by calling him the hoarder, that is just ignorant and so very harsh. He had a name and a story and a life and a family, people who cared about him. Shame on you.


john July 11, 2011 at 3:16 am

From all reports I’m seeing he was a fine man and many who knew him better would surely have overlooked such eccentricities. However can you really look at the picture above and say the label some who knew him less intimately by, was untrue?
The intent of the article was a memorial to a guy a lot of people knew nothing about, remembrance of our life after we pass on is often something we don’t get. I don’t care if people call me “that idiot who posted nonsense on the OB Rag” when I go, dying unsung is a far worse fate.
See where it says “Police have not released the names of anyone involved…”? It’s not like he didn’t try.


Sidney July 12, 2011 at 5:40 am

Steve Ricci is quite the diplomat. Hoarding is a death trap for firefighters. And Hoarders. Like Jim Mullens. And his poor family…



Sidney July 12, 2011 at 5:42 am

Shite! Cummins. My apologies. It’s important.


Curtis August 7, 2011 at 11:12 am

Old man driving an old car. There’s plenty of that in Florida.


Sidney August 7, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Please don’t make me do a spit-take on a Sunday, Curtis. *snort!*


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