Driver in Cass Street Café crash faces preliminary hearing


By City News Service

A transient accused of driving his car onto a La Jolla sidewalk and seriously injuring three teenagers before crashing into a bakery faces a preliminary hearing Wednesday at the downtown courthouse.

Ronald Troyer, 66, is charged with felony reckless driving causing injury.

At Troyer’s arraignment, Deputy District Attorney David Uyar told Judge David Szumowski that Troyer was in the 5500 block of La Jolla Boulevard about 7 p.m. on Aug. 15 when he drove over a roundabout, crossed a lane of traffic and veered onto a sidewalk, striking the three teens.

One victim was pinned under the car for a time, the prosecutor said, adding that two other pedestrians narrowly avoided being hit.

Uyar said Troyer then drove into an SDG&E electrical box, crossed part of a parking lot and crashed through the front window of the Cass Street Cafe & Bakery, hitting and injuring two patrons.

The prosecutor said Troyer gathered some of his belongings and started to walk away from the crash scene but was detained by witnesses.

Uyar said Troyer has a criminal history which includes misdemeanor vehicle code violations.

According to Department of Motor Vehicles records, Troyer was convicted twice in 2005 for driving under the influence.

The defendant also has convictions in 2006, 2007 and 2008 for driving with a suspended license, according to DMV records.

Troyer does not have a valid driver’s license, and his license has been suspended seven times since 2004, according to the records.

Authorities believe Troyer may have been driving under the influence. His blood was drawn for alcohol and drug testing, the prosecutor said.

“He’s obviously driving on a suspended license,” the prosecutor told reporters outside court. “He was able to obtain the keys to a car. He was able to get behind the wheel of a car. He’s been told numerous times that this is not to happen ... but he’s not heeding those warnings.”

Troyer faces up to nine years in prison if convicted, Uyar said.

At the conclusion of Wednesday’s preliminary hearing, a judge will decide if enough evidence was presented for Troyer to face trial.