The 66-year-old San Diego driver who rammed his car into several pedestrians on a La Jolla sidewalk will soon be facing a jury of his peers in California court. Attorneys are in the process of choosing the jury who will decide whether or not the driver is guilty of the charges placed against him, including felony reckless driving, hit-and-run, and three counts of driving without a valid license.
The car accident occurred when the defendant’s car crashed into the Cass Street Café & Bakery, located on La Jolla Boulevard. A passenger in the defendant’s vehicle told investigators that the driver purposely accelerated and removed his hands from the steering wheel after hitting a curb.
The driver’s car stuck three teenage bystanders and also injured two adults who were dining at the café during the collision. Responders had to rescue one teenage girl from underneath the vehicle, while two other boys were diagnosed with broken bones.
After crashing his vehicle onto the sidewalk, witnesses claim that the defendant attempted to leave the scene of the accident before police could arrive. Witnesses later told police officers that the reckless driver even tried to insist that someone else had stolen his car and caused the accident.
A drug test revealed that the defendant had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash, which is not the first time he has been caught driving under the influence. The driver has two DUI convictions on his record from 2005 and several other charges for driving with a suspended license.
If convicted on all charges, the defendant could face as many as 12 years in prison, according to the Deputy District Attorney.
Source: 10 News, “La Jolla Sidewalk, Bakery Crash Case Advances.” 22 March 2011