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Driver in deadly crash near Oracle Park that killed child avoids jail time with plea deal

Mission Bay residents say intersection where 4-year-old girl was killed is a constant danger for ped
SF Mission Bay residents say intersection where 4-year-old girl was killed is unsafe 04:30

A 71-year-old woman who was arrested last August in connection with a deadly crash at 4th and King streets that killed a 4-year-old girl and critically injured her father last August will not serve time in jail, according to the San Francisco District Attorney. 

Just after 5 p.m. on August 15, the girl was being pushed in a stroller by her father when the driver failed to yield and hit them as they walked in a crosswalk. The girl later died from her injuries at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital while her father was treated for life-threatening injuries, authorities said.  

71-year-old Karen Cartagena was arrested following the fatal collision on suspicion of three counts of failure to yield to pedestrians and vehicular manslaughter. 

After the accident Mayor London Breed directed the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency to make immediate improvements to the intersection, which is located near the Caltrain station and Oracle Park.

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins on Thursday posted a press release on her office's social media accounts outlining the negotiated disposition of the case.

The court approved settlement requires Cartagena to serve two years of probation in addition to completing 400 hours of community service, the release said. She will also have to complete a driver safety class and is not allowed to drive until the class is completed.

"My heart is broken for the Kim family. As a parent, I know that one of the worst pains anyone can ever endure is the loss of a child," Jenkins said in the statement. "After consultation with the victim's family, we worked to resolve this case expeditiously, in line with the family's wishes, and with their support, reached a negotiated disposition rather than going to trial." 

"Although nothing that we do can bring their beloved daughter and granddaughter back, I hope that this settlement brings them some solace as they work to heal and rebuild their lives in the wake of the terrible tragedy last summer," she added.

The settlement comes amid speculation over what will happen to the driver who was behind the wheel of an SUV in the tragic crash where a family of four was killed at a West Portal bus stop last month. In that case, 78-year-old Mary Fong Lau was arrested, but has not been charged yet.

Jenkins has said that case remains under investigation.  

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