An Encinitas man who allegedly left the scene of a traffic crash that badly injured a mother of three last month near Moonlight Beach pleaded not guilty Oct. 12 to a charge of felony hit-and-run with serious bodily injury.
Justin Walt Parker, 38, faces up to four years in prison if convicted. Parker turned himself in last week in connection with the Sept. 22 crash, which left 33-year-old Ashley Lane with a concussion and broken bones and caused her to suffer three strokes, according to sheriff's officials. Lane was crossing the street in the 100 block of Encinitas Boulevard when she was struck by a westbound white Ford F-150 pickup truck shortly before 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22, Capt. John Maryon said.
According to witnesses, the driver stopped, got out of his vehicle and told bystanders the victim appeared to be all right, then got back behind the wheel of his truck and drove off. Paramedics took Lane to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla with serious head, spine, pelvic and limb injuries. She remains hospitalized.
With “overwhelming help'” from the public, deputies were able to identify Parker as the suspected hit-and-run motorist, Maryon said. Investigators tracked down Parker's truck at a custom automotive shop in Riverside. By then, the damage it sustained in the crash had been repaired,the captain said.
Following his surrender to sheriff's officials, Parker was booked into county jail. He soon posted bail of $250,000 and was released from custody. Deputy District Attorney Robert Bruce said the investigation is ongoing and authorities are encouraging members of the public with information regarding Parker's whereabouts or activities during the day or early evening of Sept. 22 to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Department Encinitas Station.