BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A driver who entered a northwest Bakersfield intersection on a red arrow and hit a motorcycle, killing a 13-year-old boy, pleaded no contest Wednesday to all charges.
Cristina Moreno-Gonzalez was sentenced to a year of probation and 250 hours of community service, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office. She also must pay restitution in an amount to be determined to the family of Nicolas Peterson.
Her community service must be completed by July 19.
Moreno-Gonzalez made what’s called an “open plea,” in which a defendant pleads no contest to all charges in the hope the court sentences them to a lesser punishment than what’s sought by the prosecution.
She pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving and making a turn on a red arrow, according to the Superior Court website.
On Jan. 10, 2021, Moreno-Gonzalez made a left turn at a malfunctioning traffic light at the corner of Coffee and Hageman roads, according to court filings. A motorcycle carrying Nicolas and his stepfather entered the intersection on a green light.
Moreno-Gonzalez’s SUV collided with the motorcycle, killing Nicolas and leaving his stepfather with serious injuries, filings say.
Moreno-Gonzalez originally faced a felony manslaughter charge, but it was reduced to a misdemeanor at a preliminary hearing last year.
The boy’s biological father is suing the city, alleging the intersection was poorly designed and maintained and has been the scene of numerous collisions. The next hearing is scheduled in March.