Woman sentenced to probation for deadly crash near Bakersfield College

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman who caused a deadly crash in 2017 when she attempted a U-turn directly in front of a motorcycle has been sentenced to probation and must complete 720 hours of community service and two traffic safety courses.

Additionally, the driver’s license of Sara Hieronymes was ordered suspended for a year and she must pay fines and restitution, according to the District Attorney’s office.

Hieronymes was found guilty last month of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, a misdemeanor. She was sentenced Tuesday.

Police were called about 8:10 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2017, to a crash involving a car and motorcycle on Panorama Drive just north of Bakersfield College. The motorcyclist, Tony Christopher Juarez, 43, died at the scene.

Hieronymes told police she left a class and got in a Honda Accord parked facing east on the south curb of Panorama Drive. She said she checked for traffic before attempting a U-turn to head west.

The front half of the Accord had barely crossed into the roadway “when she felt a sudden and disorienting impact to the driver side,” Hieronymes told police according to court documents.

The impact spun the car, shattering its driver side windows and setting off air bags. The motorcycle sustained major damage to its front wheel and forks, the documents said.

Hieronymes passed sobriety tests and a preliminary alcohol screening showed no alcohol in her system. Police searched her phone and determined it had not been used at the time of the crash.

Police recommended the manslaughter charge for violating the vehicle code by making an illegal U-turn and failing to make sure it was safe before entering the roadway, the documents said.

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