Highway Patrol cruisers at the scene of the fatal hit-and-run near Old Town. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A motorist fatally struck a UC San Diego student who was crossing Interstate 5 near Old Town last year, then fled the scene, a prosecutor said Thursday, while a defense attorney told jurors the collision happened “in the blink of an eye” and noted that his client turned himself in two days after the crash.

Corundolus Toussaint, 39, of Perris, is charged with a single felony count of hit-and-run causing death stemming from the Feb. 24, 2018, death of Andres Perkins, 21, of Menifee.

Deputy District Attorney Karra Reedy said Perkins was killed “almost instantaneously” when he was struck in the fast lane of the freeway around 2:45 a.m.

It is unknown why Perkins was on the freeway at that time.

Police found a license plate near the scene that was tracked to a car owned by Toussaint’s girlfriend. Police found the vehicle about two hours after the crash, abandoned at a Shell gas station a few miles south of where Perkins’ body was discovered, Reedy said. The front license plate of the car was missing and the car was damaged, she said.

The prosecutor said surveillance footage from the gas station shows Toussaint and a woman, presumably his girlfriend, getting out of the car, then getting a ride from an unknown person about half an hour later.

Toussaint surrendered to San Diego police on Feb. 26.

Defense attorney Manuel Avitia said Tousssaint was “confused, disoriented and disabled” in the moment, but did not elaborate on what may have caused his client’s inattention at the time of the crash.

Avitia noted that Perkins was running across the freeway at the time, and urged jurors to remember that Toussaint ultimately turned himself in.

Toussaint remains held on $140,000 bail.

–City News Service

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