Driver Pleads Not Guilty In La Jolla Restaurant Crash

Ronald Troyer Accused Of Reckless Driving In Crash That Hurt 3 Teens

A transient with a history of driving drunk pleaded not guilty Friday to felony reckless driving causing injury for allegedly steering a car onto a La Jolla sidewalk, seriously injuring three teenagers, then crashing into an eatery.

Ronald Troyer, 66, was ordered held on $250,000 bail.

Deputy District Attorney David Uyar told Judge David Szumowski that Troyer was in the 5500 block of La Jolla Boulevard about 7 p.m. last Sunday when he drove over a roundabout, crossed a lane of traffic and veered onto a sidewalk, striking the three teens.

One victim was pinned under the car for a time, the prosecutor said, adding that two other pedestrians narrowly avoided being hit.

Uyar said Troyer then drove into an SDG&E electrical box, crossed part of a parking lot and crashed through the front window of the Cass Street Cafe & Bakery, hitting and injuring two patrons.

The prosecutor said Troyer gathered some of his belongings and started to walk away from the crash scene but was detained by witnesses.

Uyar said Troyer has a criminal history which includes misdemeanor vehicle code violations.

According to Department of Motor Vehicles records, Troyer was convicted twice in 2005 for driving under the influence.

The defendant also has convictions in 2006, 2007 and 2008 for driving with a suspended license, according to DMV records.

Troyer does not have a valid driver's license, and his license has been suspended seven times since 2004, according to the records.

"He's obviously driving on a suspended license," the prosecutor told reporters outside court. "He was able to obtain the keys to a car. He was able to get behind the wheel of a car. He's been told numerous times that this is not to happen ... but he's not heeding those warnings."

Uyar said Troyer's blood was drawn following the crash, but the results are pending.

"His conduct with the officers did cause the officers suspicions that there was something on board, and so that's why the officers took a sample of the defendant's blood," the prosecutor said.

Uyar said of one of the three teenagers hit on the sidewalk remains hospitalized and may undergo a fourth surgery on Saturday. That victim suffered a broken pelvis, according to the prosecutor. The other teenage victims suffered broken bones.

Troyer faces up to nine years in prison if convicted, Uyar said.

The defendant will be back in court Aug. 31 for a readiness conference and Sept. 2 for a preliminary hearing.