Driver who hit crowd released
By Caitlin Davis, Senior Staff Writer
Jul 29, 2014, 15:27
HOPEWELL — There will not be any more jail time for the Hopewell woman who ran her car into a crowd the day after Christmas, causing substantial injuries to a number of people.
In December, witnesses said about 15 people were walking on Bolling Drive shortly before 2:30 p.m. when a silver Kia turned the corner off Gloucester Drive, 50 feet from the location of the witnesses, and gunned the engine.
To avoid being hit by the car, the group of people began to scatter in all different directions. The car swerved into several people as they lined up along a three-foot chain link fence. The car then turned around in a nearby driveway, drove away and parked behind a home about a block away in the 4000 block of Gloucester Drive.
The six victims of the hit-and-run that were sent to Southside Regional Medical Center ranged from ages 4 to 34 and two of the victims included a mother and her 4-year-old daughter.
At the time of incident, the Hopewell Police Department said speed and alcohol did not appear to be factors in the cause of the crash. The brother of the one of the victims said that his 15-year-old sister beat up the driver, Sateesha Linton, 25, before the crash occurred.
Linton was arrested a short distance from the scene and taken to Riverside Regional Jail.
Police confirmed that the driver and some of the victims of the crash were involved in a physical altercation before the crash occurred.
In court on Wednesday, Judge Nathan Lee sentenced Sateesha Linton, also known as Sateesha Brown, to the six charges before her, which included a felony count of hit and run, three counts of not reporting an accident with damages greater than or equal to $1,000, driving on a suspended license and reckless driving.
“To the people involved I do apologize,” Linton said in court before her sentence. “I did not intend to inflict pain on anybody. I was just panicking and trying to get away from the area.”
Brown was sentenced to five years, with four years and six months suspended for the felony hit and run, and for the remaining charges, all of which were misdemeanors, she was sentenced to 12 months with 12 months suspended for a period of three years.
Since Brown has been incarcerated since December. She will not serve any more jail time, but instead got credit for the seven months she has already been behind bars.
Lee also told the court that he is of the understanding all the victims in the case were pursuing the matter civilly.
Lee Bujakowski, an attorney with Marks and Harrison who is representing three victims in this case, said in May that his clients are facing significant medical bills.
Linton’s mother, Jennifer Tucker, of Hopewell, spoke at the bond hearing earlier in the year to her daughter’s mental health condition. She told the court her daughter has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, suffers from chronic depression and has been diagnosed as having short term memory loss problems.
Lee, noting this in court records, said it would be appropriate for her to continue treatment on her own but was not imposing court mandated treatment.