Injured woman lives in Rolando, just blocks from where an earlier pipe bomb was found
September 24, 2010 (Rancho San Diego) – The explosion that seriously injured Connie Hoagland yesterday afternoon after she started up her pickup truck in Rancho San Diego was caused by a pipe bomb, Sheriff’s officials confirmed today.
Hoagland had just left the day care center where she works on Via Hacienda in Rancho San Diego around 4 p.m. when she started up her vehicle parked in front of a neighboring home. The blast reportedly ejected her from the vehicle and severely injured her legs.
“I heard a loud boom and I heard a lady start screaming, and I looked out the window and I saw her rolling n the ground,” neighbor Ashlee Alfonso told ECM news partner 10 News. Hoagland was taken to UCSD burn center, where she underwent surgery. The explosion prompted evacuation of about two dozen homes for several hours. An evacuation center was set up at Cuyamaca College.
Hoagland and her husband, Larry, live in the Rolando neighborhood—just two blocks from where a pipe bomb was thrown out of a car on Vista Grande Drive in Rolando on September 9, 10 News reports. Other media has reported that the Rolando bomb was a half mile from the Hoagland residence. That pipe bomb was disguised as a package and was detonated by the bomb squad, prompting evacuation of about 60 Rolando residents.
Authorities are investigating whether there is a connection between the two pipe bombs.
“We’re looking to see who’s responsible for this. The pickup is at our crime lab now and they are dismantling it piece by piece,” Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said of yesterday’s explosion, according to the Union-Tribune.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Metro Arson Strike Team, Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol ,Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are also participating in the investigation. Witnesses and neighbors are being interviewed in hopes of solving the crime.
Connie Hoagland, 52, is the mother of three children and a member of Skyline Church. Her daughter, Jill Hoagland, has called it a “blessing” that she had taken her own three-year-old son to the San Diego Zoo for the day, noting that the child would normally have been riding home with her grandmother, Connie Hoagland.
Larry Hoagland is part owner of a photography business, court records show. The couple has been trying to avoid a foreclosure on their Rolando home, but appear to have an otherwise untroubled record.
Whether Connie Hoagland was targeted specifically, or the victim of a random malicious act remains unknown. But friends and neighbors are baffled as to any possible motive. Hoagland’s neighbor, Brandi Smith, told NBC TV, “I can’t imagine why anyone would do anything to her; she’s a really nice lady.”