Community turns out to support injured teens

Residents want action to stop drunk drivers

By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

Get well soon. Sorry about what happened. Love you. Miss you.

These and many other heartfelt messages blanketed poster-sized cards and skateboards signed by Bird Rock residents this Saturday at an event organized by Bird Rock Against Drunk Drivers (B-RADD), a group

On Friday, Aug. 20, Ronald Troyer, 66, was arraigned before Judge David Szumowski in San Diego Superior Court in connection with the Aug. 15 crash. He was charged with one felony count of reckless driving causing injury, and two allegations that he caused great bodily injury to two other people.

Brininstool, a child actor, has been released from the hospital.

Myles Polger was having his fourth surgery on his injured leg Monday, said his father Lorne.

“We are hopeful that this will be the last one and that we will be able to bring him home to recuperate before the end of the week,” he said. “We remain appreciative of the tremendous outpouring of support for him throughout this difficult process. He and his friends have been through something no kid should ever have to go through.”

Santiago Aguerre, who’s daughter Alani was the most severely injured of the three teens, said Monday she was still under sedation and morphine.

“The fourth surgery could not be done yet: Waiting for her to be ready,” he e-mailed Monday. “We will be here for a long time. Cecilia and I have spent the last week next to her, 7/24 and we will be next to her as long as it takes.”

People of all ages showed up throughout the day Aug. 21 to pay homage to the stricken teens, patronize the restaurant and highlight the need for taking action to address the serious social ills that manifested themselves in last week’s tragic incident.

Throughout the week and at Saturday’s restaurant vigil, residents expressed a mixture of grief, anger, concern and resolve over the tragic incident.

“How did a guy with this many DUIs get a car?” asked Dessa Kirk, holding two skateboards covered with well wishes for the injured teens, signed by their classmates and friends. “The kindest thing to do for him (Troyer) is to put him away because then he’ll get the help he needs.”

“My biggest deal is traffic safety, the types of people who drive the streets in the neighborhood,” said Joe Parker, president of Bird Rock Community Council. “On everyone’s mind is the realization that that could have been any one of us walking through this roundabout: It’s scary.”

Parker said he hopes what comes out of this incident “is a positive message to young people that this is what happens when you’re irresponsible.”

Parker speculated the incident might in part be the result of redevelopment which has made the community more walkable and higher profile which, in turn, “attracts the opportunity for anyone who wants to commit crimes.”

Parker added it’s important for citizens to support criminal proceedings like the one with Troyer because “courts are more likely to take a harder stance against an action like this if the community is behind them.”

Longtime La Jollan Melinda Merryweather offerered a solution for preventing future drunk-driving tragedies: “I’d like to see a new law implemented when you buy a car along the lines as when you buy a gun, that your history is checked. I think you shouldn’t be able to buy a car if you have duis. A car is a weapon in the wrong hands: It’s a killer.”

Troyer, a transient with a history of driving drunk, will be back in court for a readiness conference at 8:15 a.m. Aug. 31 in Department 30 of Superior Court. A preliminary hearing has also been set for Sept. 2 in Department 11.

[gallery columns="2"]