Hacienda Heights woman pleads guilty to hit-and-run that killed one, injured another




SANTA ANA >> A Hacienda Heights driver pleaded guilty in a woman’s death and another woman’s injury for in incident in which she ran a red light and hit them in La Habra, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Caroline Sujin Kim, 23, was speeding on Whittier Boulevard at about 8:50 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2013, when she drove through a red light at Rigsby Street and crashed her car into two pedestrians, 38-year-old Sandra Cellabos of La Habra and 43-year-old Michelle M., who were crossing in a crosswalk, according to the DA’s statement.

The force of the crash sent Cellabos onto the hood and roof of the car before she fell into the roadway, the statement said. She was pronounced dead from her injuries about one hour later. Michelle M. had minor injuries and spent one day in the hospital.

After hitting the victims, Kim fled. When officers found Kim, she led them on a chase at speeds of more than 80 mph for several miles. She drove through multiple red lights and was arrested after crashing into a parked car in Hacienda Heights, the DA said.

Kim pleaded guilty 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.

Kim faces a maximum sentence of 13 years and eight months in state prison at her sentencing on Feb. 17 in Santa Ana.

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