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By Casey Christie / The Californian
BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
A judge sentenced a Bakersfield motorist Thursday to community, service, fines and felony probation in an unusual case of hit-and-run in which the two vehicles involved never actually collided.
Lisa Ann Celedon entered Department 1 of Kern County Superior Court with her head and face almost entirely covered by a scarf.
Judge Colette M. Humphrey sentenced Celedon to 250 hours of community service and three years' probation, and ordered her to pay restitution for medical expenses and losses to the Bakersfield police officer injured in the crash.
Humphrey also ordered Celedon to pay for the repairs to the officer's motorcycle.
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Andrea Kohler said prosecutors originally wanted Celedon to serve some time in jail, but in looking at her previous lack of a record and other factors in the case, they're happy with the outcome.
"I have to think it's not the norm," Kohler said of a hit-and-run not involving an actual collision.
Defense attorney David A. Torres has previously said that it was reasonable to assume the officer was speeding at the time, and the question was whether Celedon's actions resulted in the officer's actions. Torres could not be immediately reached Thursday.
Celedon pleaded no contest in late February to felony hit-and-run resulting in injury, and to a Vehicle Code infraction.
Bakersfield police said Celedon pulled out directly in front of Officer Brian Looney at 6:05 a.m. Sept. 10 on Truxtun Avenue. Looney was headed east on Truxtun approaching Truxtun Plaza West and was forced to take evasive action to avoid hitting Celedon's vehicle.
The officer crashed his motorcycle, suffering road rash and a broken arm, police said. Celedon left the scene.
Vehicle Code section 20001 describes a driver's duty to stop at the scene of any injury accident.
The section says, in part, that "the driver of any vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to any person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of any person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident."