Body found in car identified

March 30, 2009 12:34:35 PM PDT
A man who was found dead inside a car that was apparently driven off a cliff along Grizzly Park Boulevard in Oakland on Friday afternoon has been identified as 22-year-old Jerry Backman Jr. of Pittsburg, according to the Alameda County coroner's bureau.

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The California Highway Patrol and Oakland Fire Department responded to the crash at about 1:30 p.m. on Friday. The CHP was one of several agencies patrolling the city that day to allow Oakland officers to attend their colleagues' funeral at the Oracle Arena.

The car went off the cliff at the intersection of Grizzly Peak Boulevard and Grizzly Terrace Drive.

CHP Officer Sam Morgan said witnesses told investigators Backman appeared to have driven off the cliff intentionally, and that physical evidence recovered at the scene supported the possibility that the act may have been deliberate.

Morgan could not confirm whether the vehicle belonged to Backman.

He said the crash is still under investigation but that additional details could be released later today.

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