Breaking news: Troyer guilty on all counts in Bird Rock crash

Ronald Troyer shown in court during a previous appearance. Photo courtesy NBCSanDiego.com
Ronald Troyer shown in court during a previous appearance. Photo courtesy NBCSanDiego.com

By Kelly Wheeler

City News Service

A man who ran his car onto La Jolla sidewalk while under the influence of marijuana, injuring three teens and two adults, was convicted Wednesday of driving while intoxicated and other charges that could send him to prison for up to 15 years.

Ronald Troyer, 66, also was convicted of reckless driving and hit-and-

run and a misdemeanor charge of driving on a suspended license.

Jurors deliberated just two hours before reaching their verdicts.

The defendant — who has two prior DUI convictions and several

convictions for driving on a suspended license — will be sentenced May 4.

Myles Polger, 15 — one of three teens run over by Troyer before his car

smashed into a bakery — said he hopes the defendant gets what he deserves at the time of sentencing.

“It was very tough to see Troyer ... for all the tough times he brought

on me and my family,'' the boy told reporters outside court.

The teen, who suffered serious arm and leg injuries in the accident, said he was beginning physical therapy and hopes to be active again soon.

Myles’ father, Lorne, said he was pleased that “justice was served,” and that he hopes that Troyer “won’t be able to inflict harm on anybody else.”

“It’s a chapter we can close and move on from it,” he said.

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Alani Aguerre, the most severely injured of the three teens, had numerous surgeries to repair several broken bones in her pelvis and left arm and was in the intensive care unit for weeks.

Reacting to the verdict, Alani’s father, Santiago, said, “It’s a big victory for the system, for David (Uyar) and for our family. Uyar and his team did an incredible job researching every single detail of this case. The American system of justice is on the top of the world.”

Aguerre thanked everyone associated with the case, including witnesses who voluntarily stepped forward.

Referring to Troyer, Aguerre said, “I hope when his sentencing comes up that they put him away for the safety of our community and our children."

One man was seriously injured about 6:30 p.m. last Aug. 15 when Troyer's car veered onto the sidewalk, then crashed into the Cass Street Cafe & Bakery.

Deputy District Attorney David Uyar said in his closing argument Tuesday that Troyer had smoked marijuana at some point before his car plowed into the teenagers and bakery.

Uyar said Troyer tried to shift the blame away from himself after the crash, saying things like, “Oh this is bad,” Someone stole my car,'' “I

wasn't driving'' and “I must have blacked out,” along with blaming the crash on mechanical failure.

The prosecutor said Troyer's blood was drawn three hours after the crash, and marijuana was found in his system.

Witnesses at the crash scene thought Troyer was under the influence of something, Uyar said. The notion that the marijuana detected in Troyer's system had been there for a week was “rubbish,'' the prosecutor said.

“He smoked recently,” Uyar told the jury.

Defense attorney David Thompson told the jury that there was reasonable doubt that Troyer was under the influence of marijuana or any other substance at the time of the crash and suggested he suffered a seizure.

Thompson said Troyer was driving normally beforehand, then “all of a

sudden, something happened.''

“That could have been the seizure right there,'' the defense attorney

said. “Something happened in his body and it wasn't the pot. Seizures don't give notice.''

   
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