Hit-and-run driver pleads guilty to striking UC San Diego student
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 05/30/19 - 02:29 PM | 1097 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A hit and run driver who caused the death of a UC San Diego student pleaded guilty May 29 and will be sentenced to three years in state prison.

Corundolus Toussaint, 40, pleaded guilty to felony hit and run in the Feb. 24, 2018 death of Andres Perkins, 21, who was struck at 2:30 a.m. on Interstate 5 near the Old Town exit.

Deputy District Attorney Karra Reedy said Toussaint agreed to accept a 3-year prison term when he is sentenced June 26.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Laura Halgren allowed Toussaint to be free on bond after he promised he would return for sentencing.

Toussaint is likely to receive jail credits of a year and several months spent in custody which would be subtracted from the 3-year term.

The case went before a jury, but on Feb. 19, the jury declared it was hopelessly deadlocked in a 6-6 vote. A judge declared a mistrial.

His attorney, Manuel Avitia III, told jurors the collision occurred “in the blink of an eye.” After the mistrial, he told a reporter a retrial might result in another deadlocked jury.

Toussaint was driving his girlfriend’s 2004 Honda Accord at the time and he had picked up a woman he did not know in Mission Beach just minutes before striking Perkins.

He was apparently distracted when he struck the student, but did not stop until he abandoned the blood-stained, damaged vehicle at a service station at 2521 Pacific Highway, according to testimony.

The front license plate was knocked off and was not far from the student, who was found dead in a traffic lane, according to witnesses from the California Highway Patrol.

Surveillance cameras showed Toussaint leaving the driver’s seat and a woman exiting the vehicle from the front passenger seat at 3:10 a.m., according to testimony.

A witness testified the footage showed the woman wiping the door handle as if to wipe away any DNA or fingerprints. She could not be located for trial and her identity is unknown.

A CHP officer testified Toussaint told her he drove down Garnet Avenue before deciding he and the woman were going to get a hotel room in downtown San Diego.

After the student was struck, Toussaint described himself as being “in a daze and the next thing he remembered he was at the gas station,” said a CHP officer.

Andres Perkins wanted to go to medical school, a friend recalled during the trial.
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