Accused drunk driver arraigned in deadly hit-and-run - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Accused drunk driver arraigned in deadly hit-and-run

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A La Jolla man pleaded not guilty Monday to charges in a hit-and-run crash that killed a pedestrian in Del Mar.

Christopher Stockmeyer, 41, was taken into custody Monday after a judge raised his bail. Stockmeyer is accused of being drunk when he struck and killed UC San Diego PhD student Rachel Morrison March 28. According to police, Stockmeyer ran a stop sign and struck Morrison, who was walking with friends in a crosswalk, then fled the scene.

According to prosecutor Ken Watanabe, police located Stockmeyer after finding his license plate at the crash scene. Police estimate his blood-alcohol level to be around .24 during the time of the crash.

On Monday, a judge raised Stockmeyer's bail to $250,000. A readiness conference was set for April 16.

THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. For an earlier version, read below.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A promising life cut short. A La Jolla man is heading to court Monday to enter a plea for charges stemming from a deadly hit-and-run.

The victim is a 27-year-old Encinitas woman who was a PhD student at UC San Diego. The accused allegedly ran her down in Del Mar.

If you ask her friends, they'll tell you Rachel Anne Morrison had it all. Brains, beauty, and a heck of a sense of humor.

"Rachel was always so much fun to be with. She had an infectious smile and you couldn't help but be laughing. Just enjoying her company every moment no matter what we were talking about or doing," Susan Kram said. 

The 27-year-old was a PhD student at the UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography. At her memorial, her friends sported the blue streak of hair she was known for. 

"It's a way to remember her. To remember she inspired us to be better scientists. Now she inspires us to be better people," Maggie Johnson said. 

Police say it was 41-year-old Christopher Stockmeyer who cut Morrison's life short as she walked home from dinner on March 28.

The La Jolla man is accused of driving drunk and running a stop sign at the intersection of Camino Del Mar and Coast Boulevard. Police say that's where he hit and killed Morrison before fleeing the scene. But his license plate was left behind and that's how police say they were able to find him.

"I feel for him and his family as well. It's terrible. His life is going to be affected forever. and I hope justice is served and I hope that man finds help," Maggie Johnson said. 

Stockmayer faces charges of felony hit and run, vehicular manslaughter and DUI. Morrison's friends hope people take her story to heart, especially when it comes to drinking and driving. 

"It's never acceptable to drink and drive. The consequences are tragic. It's not worth the risk. Just be smart," Johnson said. 

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