Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case # 14NF0328: February 20, 2014
*Defendant charged with fleeing the scene and leading police on high-speed chase
FULLERTON – A speeding driver will be arraigned tomorrow for killing one woman and injuring another after running a red light and crashing into them in a crosswalk. The defendant is accused of then fleeing the scene and leading police on a high-speed chase. Caroline Sujin Kim, 21, Hacienda Heights, is charged with one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, evading while driving recklessly, and hit and run causing permanent injury or death, with sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing great bodily injury, causing injury or death to more than one person, and fleeing the scene. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 13 years and eight months in state prison. Kim is out of custody on $100,000 bail and is expected to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
At approximately 8:50 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2013, Kim is accused of driving at a high rate of speed on Whittier Boulevard in La Habra. She is accused of illegally driving through a red light at the intersection at Rigsby Street and crashing her car into two pedestrians, 38-year-old Sandra Cellabos and 43-year-old Michelle M., who were lawfully crossing the street in a marked crosswalk.
The force of the collision caused Cellabos onto the hood and roof of the vehicle before falling into the roadway. She was pronounced dead approximately one hour later due to the injuries she sustained in the crash. Michelle M. sustained minor injuries and was released from the hospital the day after the crash.
After hitting the victims, Kim is accused of failing to stop and render aid to either Cellabos or Michelle M. She is accused of fleeing the scene. When police officers located the fleeing defendant, she is accused of leading them on a high-speed pursuit at speeds over 80 mph for several miles. She is accused of driving through multiple red lights while fleeing and was eventually arrested after crashing into a parked car in Hacienda Heights.
Deputy District Attorney Anna McIntire of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney 401 Civic Center Drive West Santa Ana, CA 92701