A jury will hear clear evidence that a transient, who drove his car onto a sidewalk in La Jolla injuring three teenagers, tried to shirk responsibility, a prosecutor said during opening statements on Thursday.
Ronald Troyer, 66, was behind the wheel last August when his car jumped a curb in La Jolla, crashing through the window of the Cass Street Cafe and Bakery, according to prosecutors.
14-year-old Alani Aguerre was one of the most severely injured. Her parents say she was thrown from the hood of the car through the window and into the bakery where the car then landed on top of her.
"She was in a coma for two weeks," said Alani's mother Cecilia Aguerre. "She had many, many broken bones and cuts everywhere."
Police at the scene of the August crash said Troyer did have marijuana in his system, but not alcohol.
During opening statements, defense attorney David Thompson said there is no dispute that Troyer had some marijuana in his system. He had smoked in the morning. But Thompson argued that it was not the marijuana that caused him to crash into cafe, but rather a "seizure or fainting spell."
The prosecutor claims Troyer tried to shirk responsibility and said, "Someone stole my car. I wasn't driving".
Deputy District Attorney David Uyar said Troyer tried to" walk away in the middle of all that chaos" and witnesses had to keep him on the scene.
Troyer is charged with DUI, felony reckless driving, hit-and-run, and driving on a suspended license. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.