A Solano County Superior Court jury on Sept. 12, convicted a 25-year-old man of vehicle theft and of leaving the scene of a collision, according to prosecutors.
Dustin Daffern, of Vallejo, was walking on Sonoma Boulevard at Yolano Drive on June 29 when he drove away in a 2005 Chrysler Crossfire that was left unattended briefly by a 19-year-old woman.
The woman was following her father’s truck to an auto parts store.
When her father’s truck stalled at the intersection, the woman left her car with the engine running and Daffern drove it away, prosecutors said.
Daffern drove into oncoming traffic and struck a vehicle driven by a 76-year-old woman. The collision deployed the airbags and the woman’s car crossed the center median and into opposing traffic. The woman was taken to a hospital, according to prosecutors.
The father of the 19-year-old woman dove into the passenger side of the Chrysler, placed it in the park and grabbed the keys from the ignition to prevent Daffern from driving away, prosecutors said.
Daffern ran from the scene but he was followed by a good Samaritan to an AM/PM gas station where he was arrested, according to prosecutors.
At his trial, Daffern testified he was high at the time of the theft and collision and could not have formed an intention to steal the Chrysler. He said he left the scene because he was afraid he would be attacked, prosecutors said. Daffern is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 10.
By James Lanaras