Judge orders driver in café crash to stand trial

Ronald Troyer shown in court. Photo courtesy NBCSanDiego.com

By Kelly Wheeler
City News Service

A transient accused of driving his car onto a La Jolla sidewalk, seriously injuring three teens, before crashing into a bakery and hurting two adults, was ordered Thursday to stand trial on felony reckless driving and hit-and-run charges.

After a two-day preliminary hearing, Judge Bernard Revak ruled that enough evidence had been presented for 66-year-old Ronald Troyer to stand trial on the felony charges and three misdemeanor counts of driving on a suspended license.

Troyer faces a maximum of 12 years in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney David Uyar.

Uyar told the judge that Troyer was convicted twice in 2005 for driving under the influence. He also has convictions in 2006, 2007 and 2008 for driving with a suspended license, according to DMV records.

San Diego police Officer Robert Wells testified today that Troyer displayed signs at the crash scene consistent with someone who was on drugs.

Wells said he smelled “an alcoholic odor” coming from the defendant, and also said Troyer had very strong body odor.

“I asked him if he remembered the collision,” the officer testified. “He said he didn’t remember the incident.”

Troyer’s blood was drawn at the hospital and tested negative for alcohol but positive for the active ingredient in marijuana, according to court testimony.

Detective John Letteri testified that Troyer told him that he hadn’t had any alcohol the day of the Aug. 15 crash but had smoked marijuana that morning.

Letteri said Troyer told him that he had blacked out just before the crash.

“He said, ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m going to fix whatever I did,’” Letteri testified.

Troyer said he knew he shouldn’t have been driving and that the same blackout scenario happened to him five years ago.

A man who was riding with Troyer said the defendant hit a curb in a roundabout just before the 7 p.m. accident, sped up in anger and “floored it” while taking his hands off the steering wheel, thrusting the car onto the sidewalk in the 5500 block of La Jolla Boulevard and into the Cass Street Cafe & Bakery, Letteri testified.

One teenage girl was pinned under Troyer’s car for a time and two boys suffered broken bones, Uyar said.

A man and his wife sitting at a window-side table at the bakery were also injured.

Troyer’s passenger — who quietly walked away from the crash scene before being contacted days later — said he didn’t think the defendant blacked out and was just “ghost-riding” the car before it crashed, according to the detective.

Revak said Troyer tried to walk away and avoid responsibility after the crash, telling witnesses “someone stole my car.”

Troyer will be back in court Nov. 24 for a readiness conference. Trial was tentatively set for Dec. 3.

Related posts:

  1. Witness recalls ‘chaos’ following Bird Rock crash
  2. Preliminary hearing rescheduled for suspect in La Jolla crash
  3. Community turns out to support injured teens
  4. Suspect in La Jolla crash pleads not guilty
  5. La Jolla teen has fourth surgery as friends recover at home after Bird Rock crash

Short URL: http://www.lajollalight.com/?p=3465

Posted by Halie Johnson on Oct 15, 2010. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

La Jolla Community Calendar

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

RSS North Coastal News

  • California Chiropractic Association elects Del Mar practitioner as president July 25, 2014
    The California Chiropractic Association, the Sacramento-based statewide, nonprofit organization of chiropractic doctors and allied industries, announced that Brian Stenzler, a San Diego and Del Mar-based doctor of chiropractic, was elected to serve as president of CCA. He succeeds Matt Hubbard, also of San Diego, who now serves as Immediate Past President. […]
  • Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team tops in division at 2014 Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    The Surf Soccer Club Academy GU9 team took first place in the 2014 Albion Cup (Girls U9 Cup) on July 18-21. They beat Carlsbad United’s top GU9 team in the semi-finals and went on to shut out Strikers FC in the finals, 4-0. Awesome tournament play by the entire team! […]
  • Surf Academy Select BU9 win it all at Albion Cup July 25, 2014
    San Diego Surf Academy Select BU9 won it all at the Albion Cup July 19-21! After winning their Showcase division by going unbeaten all weekend, they defeated Legends FC 4-1 in the finals on Monday. This is the second year in a row this team has won the Albion Cup. […]