Last Sunday, three teenagers were severely injured after a driver in Bird Rock allegedly lost control of his car and plowed into them before slamming into a cafe. On Friday, that driver, 66-year-old Ronald Troyer, was in court and pleaded not guilty.
Troyer, who's said to be a transient, entered his plea through his public defender. He was shackled when he walked into court on Friday and only spoke once, when he agreed to waive a bail hearing.
The prosecutor in the case, Deputy District Attorney David Uyar, called Troyer a flight risk and danger to society. Uyar asked for $200,000 bail, but the judge, citing Troyer's misdemeanor history that includes five DUI’s, actually raised that amount to $250,000.
Troyer was driving under the influence again on Sunday night, according to prosecutors, who said he lost control of the car he was driving on the 5500 block of La Jolla Boulevard.
The car jumped a curb and hit the three teens, severely injuring them, before crashing into the Cass Street Bakery and Café, where the vehicle pinned one of the teens under a table.
Given the defendant’s history, the prosecutor was asked why Troyer was behind the wheel.
“Unfortunately, somebody is not watching over the defendant's shoulder at every turn,” Uyar said. “He was able to obtain the keys to the car, he was able to get behind the wheel of a car. He's been told numerous times: ‘This is not to happen,’ but he did not heed those warnings.”
One of the teens was released from the hospital on Wednesday, his father told the La Jolla Light.
"Ian received a broken leg, a concussion, bruised kidney and a scraped-up back when he hit the pavement," Michael Brininstool told the paper.
A second teen is facing a third surgery for broken bones. The third victim, who was struck by the car and carried into the cafe, suffered the worst injuries. She is facing her fourth surgery on Saturday. According to her father, she's still in intensive care with a broken arm and severe injuries to her pelvis.
Troyer is charged with one count of reckless driving causing injury, with two allegations of reckless driving causing great bodily injury. He faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.