It's Lonely Without Her Around

Celebrating the survivors of the Cass St. Cafe crash

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Family, friends and even total strangers showed up at the Cass St. Bakery and Cafe in La Jolla on Saturday to support three teenagers injured at the restaurant, after an out of control driver ran them over and then slammed into the building.

    "It's just a celebration of life. The neighborhood got together, the kid's friends, to sign some cards and remember them," said victim Alani Aguerre's uncle Fernando Aguerre.

    Fourteen-year-old Alani is still in the intensive care unit at a nearby hospital, her uncle said.

    Lisa Widemeier had just walked past the children moments before they were hit and said the group of five seemed so happy, walking arm in arm down the street.  Widemeier had just passed them, when she suddenly heard a tremendous explosion; the car had hit three of the children and gone into the restaurant.

    Cass St. Bakery and Cafe Crash: Raw Video

    [DGO] Cass St. Bakery and Cafe Crash: Raw Video
    Cass St. Bakery and Cafe Crash: Raw Video

    "I heard someone shout that there was someone under the car, I went inside and found Alani under the car and I stayed with her," Widemeier said.

    The car pushed Alani through the glass and landed on top of her," Widemeier recalled.

    The car's radiator had exploded and hot radiator fluid and oil were pouring all over her, Widemeier said. She believes the marble tables inside the restaurant stopped the car completely crushing Alani.

    "She is fighting for her life; this is an example of what drunk driving does," Widemeier said. "Her pelvis is broken in four places."

    The other victims from the crash are recovering at home. 14-year-old Ian Brininstool was in the group of kids walking with Alani. He was struck by the car and suffered a broken leg and a head injury.

    Brininstool said he heard his friends scream and turned to see the car barreling at him.

    "All I remember is, like the car coming toward me and then I blacked out," Brininstool said. "I don't remember anything past that."

    He said there was just no time to get out of the way.

    "It was lucky that none of us were like, more hurt, could have been killed," Brininstool said. "So I think of it as a blessing, but at the same time, sort of, extremely unlucky that it happened to us."

    Aguerre's family hopes something positive comes out of the accident.

    "Hopefully the people that watch this piece reflect on how stupid it is to drink and drive, or any substance, they shouldn't have in their body and drive," Agurre said. "Dangerous, things don't just happen in dangerous places, they can happen anywhere."

    Alani's sister Marina called the driver's decision to drive while allegedly under the influence of alcohol, "reckless and a bad decision."

    "It's probably one of the worst decisions you could make in your life, because it ruins everyone," Marina said. "It's a slap back to reality, when you realize that it’s all around you and it happens all the time, people really aren't doing anything about it."

    "It's lonely without her around," Marina said.

    "What happened to my sister, could have happened to anybody," said Alani's younger sister Emilia.

    The driver of the car, Ronald Troyer, 66, is facing three felony counts of reckless driving. He pled not guilty to those charges during his arraignment.