Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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January 16, 2013

Middlebury driver pleads guilty to leaving the scene of crash

Accident left Middlebury teen in critical condition

ELKHART — The driver in a July hit-and-run crash that seriously injured a Middlebury teen entered a guilty plea Wednesday.

Pasquale Chase Rulli, 26, 55824 Alverstone Drive, Middlebury, pleaded guilty to a Class D felony count of leaving the scene of a crash resulting in serious bodily injury. He appeared in Elkhart Superior Court 6 with his attorney, Phil Miller.

Rulli admitted to the offense without benefit of a plea deal, as such. His sentence will be left to the discretion of Superior Court 6 Judge David Bonfiglio.

Rulli faces up to three years incarceration; all or part of that term could be suspended, Miller explained after court proceedings Wednesday. Rulli also faces the potential loss of his driving privileges.

The crash occurred the evening of July 10 on C.R. 35 north of U.S. 20, west of Middlebury. Rulli was driving a 2008 Cadillac STS sedan that collided with bicyclist Zion Carlstrom.

“You became aware your vehicle was in an accident that evening, yes?” Miller asked his client as the two stood before Judge Bonfiglio.

“Yes,” Rulli replied.

Miller also asked Rulli if he knowingly left the crash scene. “Yes,” the defendant said.

Rulli came forward to Elkhart County police the day after the collision. Carlstrom continues to recover from her injuries.

Rulli is scheduled to be sentenced in Superior Court 6 at 9 a.m. March 15. Rulli remains free on bond.

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