Breaking News Blog

Tuesday, Apr 22 2014 12:27 PM

Driver in alleged DUI that hit a bystander was former police officer

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The man accused of driving onto a center median, running through two red lights, jumping a curb and driving into a Shell gas station parking lot -- seriously hurting a woman -- while drunk was a former Bakersfield police officer.

BPD Sgt. Joe Grubbs confirmed that Kristofer Randall Carter, 31, was a former officer. Carter was employed with BPD from July 10, 2006, to March 1, 2012. He left on an industrial disability retirement, which is a medical retirement, according to the city.

According to reports, when Carter drove into the Shell station Monday, he hit Leann Kathrine Harris, 20, who was pumping gas and caused her major injuries.

He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and hit and run.

The 12:45 p.m. accident occurred when Carter was traveling west on Merle Haggard Drive and hit the median west of Wings Way, striking a row of bushes, police said.

He reportedly left the scene and continued driving even though his left front tire was flat, authorities have said.

Carter, of Bakersfield, allegedly failed to stop at the intersection of Pegasus Drive and Highway 65 and turned right, jumped the curb and drove into a gas station parking lot at Merle Haggard Drive and Highway 65.

Harris, of Bakersfield, was standing on the north side of her vehicle when Carter's 2012 Toyota Tundra knocked down the protective barrier poles and a gas dispenser, continued heading northwest and struck Harris' SUV.

The impact pushed the SUV into Harris, launching her and a second gas dispenser several feet north of the impact, officers said. A juvenile passenger in the SUV was uninjured.

Harris was transported to Kern Medical Center where she remained in critical condition Tuesday.

Carter remains in custody at the downtown jail.

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