Man enters not guilty plea in jogger’s death

CARLSBAD — The man who was driving the Ford Expedition that hit and killed a jogger on Dec. 28 of last year pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter Tuesday.

Police took Joseph Knight into custody, after issuing a warrant for his arrest on May 15.

Knight is facing misdemeanor charges with a maximum punishment of a year and a $25,000 bail, according to a representative from the San Diego’s District Attorney office.

He is also facing two charges of driving on a suspended license with a combined punishment of one year and $30,000 in bail.

Joseph Knight is being charged with a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter after he struck and killed Nicole Lynch, a Carlsbad resident. Photo courtesy Carlsbad Police Department

Joseph Knight is being charged with a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter after he struck and killed Nicole Lynch, a Carlsbad resident. Photo courtesy Carlsbad Police Department

The jogger, 51-year-old Nicole Lynch, was running north on Carlsbad Boulevard with her daughter when Knight swerved onto the curb and hit her.
She was later pronounced dead on the way to Tri-City Hospital.

Knight had his 3-year-old daughter in the car, which Williams said caused a distraction that resulted in him swerving onto the curb.

At the time of the accident, Knight worked as a cook for a Denny’s restaurant and he was getting off working the night shift, according to the police report.

The husband and daughter of Lynch filed a civil case against Knight for wrongful death and the infliction of emotional distress.

The attorney for the Lynch family, Thomas Vance of Vance & Blair LLP, said Knight was not insured at the time of the accident.
Vance is hopeful the family will win the civil case but said he doesn’t believe Knight would be able to pay for a ruling in favor of the family.

Knight was driving on a suspended license when he hit and killed Lynch.

He owns the vehicle.

He wasn’t arrested at the scene of the accident because the police department was still investigating.

Alcohol or drugs were not a factor in the accident. Police also do not believe he fell asleep at the wheel.

His next hearing is at the San Diego County Superior Court in Vista May 26.

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