Arrest Made a Year After Escondido Cafe Owner Badly Hurt in Hit-and-Run

Rosie’s Cafe manager Sandy Nelbroski told NBC 7 last year that Kaitlyn Rose Pilsbur suffered horrible injuries in the crash

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More than a year after a motorcyclist was hit-and-run in Vista, San Diego sheriff's deputies announced Monday they had made an arrest in the case.

On Dec. 21, 2019, the driver of a white Ford Explorer hit Kaitlyn Rose Pilsbury, the owner of Rosie's Cafe in Escondido, while making a left turn in front of her Harley Davidson, according to investigators. The driver left his SUV at the scene at West Vista Way and North Melrose Drive in Vista and ran away on foot, SDSO said.

Rosie’s Cafe, which was owned and operated by Kaitlyn Rose Pilsbury for three years before the crash, was located near the intersection of West Grand and Broadway in Escondido. Sadly, the cafe closed in June amid the pandemic.

Deputies said on Monday that Rene Solorio, 35, was arrested last week and has been booked into the Vista Detentional Facility on a felony hit-and-run charge. He is being held on $200,00 bail.

Shortly after the crash, officials said the registered owner of the SUV was not the suspect, but that they believed someone borrowed the SUV and that the owner may know who the driver was. The suspect at the time was described as a 6-foot-tall man in his 30s with short hair and an approximately 4-inch beard. Solorio is, in fact, 5 feet 8 inches tall.

After the crash, Rosie’s Cafe then-manager, Sandy Nelbroski, said Pilsbury had suffered horrible injuries in the crash.

Pilsbury's mother, Marie, a native New Jersey resident who flew out to take care of her daughter after the incident, told NBC 7 on Tuesday that she has remained in San Diego ever since, managing her treatment.

"She is recovering -- it is a process," Marie said about Kaitlyn. "She had a surgery in December on the left leg -- she is about a month out on that.... The biggest thing is the traumatic brain injury, and she has a road ahead of her, but she has always maintained a positive attitude and never quit."

The Pilsburys were relieved to hear this week that there had been progress on the case.

"We're very grateful to the sheriff's deputies who were able to arrest the suspected drier and this can now move forward," Marie told NBC 7. "She is relieved. She just had tears of relief that they continued to work on the case and can bring it to this point."

The owner, Kaitlyn Rose, remained unconscious in the ICU on Saturday evening. NBC 7's Danica McAdam is live in Escondido.

Rosie’s Cafe was a retro-style cafe with pictures up of Rosie the Riveter, an icon from whom Pilsbury draws strength and inspiration, Nelbroski told NBC 7 that Pilsbury wears her hair like Rosie the Riveter and rolled up her sleeve to show off her bicep for photos with customers.

Solorio is due in court on Feb. 1.

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