An Encinitas man accused of striking a woman, checking on her condition and then driving away repaired his car after the crash, according to Deputy District Attorney
Justin Walt Parker pleaded not guilty to hit-and-run causing serious bodily injury or death at his arraignment Thursday. He is out on bail.
Parker is accused of striking 33-year-old mother Ashley Mullins Lane on Encinitas Boulevard on Friday, Sept. 22 in his white, Ford F-150 pickup.
Sheriff's deputies initially said the crash happened as Mullins was walking across the intersection on the way to the coaster, but Deputy District Attorney Robert Bruce said saying Mullins was in the intersection may be premature.
After Parker hit Mullins, Bruce said, he got out of his car, saw Mullins, spoke to people at the scene, and then got back into his car and drove away.
"We believe he knew the seriousness of her injuries and drove away anyways," Bruce said after the arraignment.
Bruce would not go into details of how they found the truck, but a search warrant served at a custom automotive shop in Riverside uncovered Parker's truck and additional evidence, according to investigators.
The truck had been repaired after the crash, Bruce said.
The 33-year-old mother has been hospitalized since the collision with serious head, spine, pelvis and limb injuries. On Monday, she was transferred from the ICU to rehab, where she has begun the long process of recovering, her family told NBC 7.
The mother suffered three strokes since the crash.
Her father, Roger, said he is still processing his feelings.
"It’s feelings of anger, as well as feelings of relief, that he is going to face consequences," he said.
Lane's family has set up an online funding page to help with medical bills as she had a temporary lapse in her medical insurance coverage. Those wishing to donate can click here.
If convicted, Parker faces up to four years in prison.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information on the incident is asked to contact the North Coastal Traffic Division at (760)966-3544 or Crime Stoppers at (888)580-8477.