24-Year-Old Woman Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Hit-and-Run Crash That Killed Woman in La Habra
A 24-year-old woman was sentenced to seven years in state prison on Thursday after running a red light in La Habra and striking two pedestrians, leaving one dead.
Caroline Sujin Kim pleaded guilty on Dec. 29, 2016, to one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, evading a peace officer while driving recklessly, and hit-and-run causing permanent injury or death, with a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene after committing vehicular manslaughter, according to an Orange County District Attorney press release.
She was also ordered to pay restitution, officials said.
In October 2013 Kim was speeding on Whittier Boulevard in La Habra around 8:50 p.m. when she drove through a red light at the Rigsby Street intersection, prosecutors said.
She then crashed into two pedestrians, 38-year-old Sandra Cellabos and 43-year-old Michelle M., who were crossing the street in a crosswalk.
Cellabos was thrown onto the hood and roof of the car before falling into the roadway. She was pronounced dead approximately one hour after the crash, according to prosecutors.
Michelle M. had minor injuries from the collision and was released from the hospital the following day.
“With no remorse, no care, no concern, no humanity, she proceeded at that high rate of speed down that very busy Whittier Boulevard without rendering any aid to my sister,” said Cellabos’ sister in court. “The life of Sandy Ceballos was not only taken in that crosswalk that night, but also a piece of our lives took their last breath that night too. Our family has been so displaced without Sandy.”
After hitting the victims, Kim fled the scene and led police officers on a high-speed pursuit at speeds over 80 mph for several miles, officials said.
She drove through multiple red lights and was eventually arrested after crashing into a parked car in Hacienda Heights.