A man who drove drunk and struck a marine biologist in a crosswalk in Del Mar, then fled the scene, pleaded guilty Wednesday to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Christopher “Chip” Stockmeyer, 41, faces between nine and 15 years in prison when he is sentenced June 20 for the March 28 death of Rachel Morrison, 27.
Initially he had pleaded not guilty, in a court appearance last week.
Witnesses said the UCSD doctorate student, who was studying at the Scripps Oceanographic Institution, was walking eastbound when Stockmeyer ran a stop sign in his Audi A-4 and struck her at a high rate of speed at the intersection of Camino Del Mar and Coast Boulevard about 10:15 p.m.
Morrison’s friend, who was walking with her in the crosswalk, was not injured.
Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe said the Audi symbol from the car and a partial license plate helped sheriff’s deputies locate Stockmeyer at his La Jolla home 12 miles from the crash site.
Stockmeyer reportedly told deputies that he had been drinking with friends at a restaurant in Encinitas and admitted he “might have” hit somebody in Del Mar.
Watanabe estimated the defendant’s blood-alcohol level was .24 percent at the time of the crash, three times the legal limit for driving. He also plead guilty to a hit-and-run allegation.
– City News Service
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