ELKHART — The driver who left the scene after hitting a bicyclist in July 2012 pleaded guilty Wednesday, Jan. 16 at the Elkhart County Superior Court 6.
Pasquale Chase Rulli, 26, of 55824 Alverstone Drive, Middlebury, pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident that caused serious bodily injury, a Class D felony.
The terms of the plea agreement have been left under the discretion of Judge David Bonfiglio. However, Rulli faces up to three years in prison and having his license suspended.
Rulli was driving south on C.R. 35 around 10 p.m. on July 10, 2012, when he struck Zion Carlstrom, 17, of Middlebury. He told police he thought he hit a deer and continued driving to Fort Wayne, according to the probable cause affidavit for his case. He came forward to police the next day through his attorney, according to court documents.
Carlstrom was airlifted to a hospital with injuries to her head and legs and in critical condition. She was later transferred to a rehabilitation center in Indianapolis.
Her family recently said it could take another six months to know what may be permanent issues caused by the brain injuries she received from the accident. However, support from the community remains strong.
Rulli was arrested Oct. 22, 2012 after a police investigation was completed. He bailed out of jail the next day, according to the Elkhart County Jail’s website.
Rulli’s sentencing hearing has been scheduled to March 15 at 9 a.m.