BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Bakersfield police have confirmed that the man arrested in connection with a crash that critically injured a young woman was a former Bakersfield Police Department officer.
At about 12:45 p.m. Monday, 31-year-old Kristopher Carter was traveling westbound on Merle Haggard Drive at a high rate of speed, according to Officer Roberto Rodriguez with the California Highway Patrol.
Sgt. Joseph Grubbs with the BPD said that Carter was a former BPD officer.
Carter started with the BPD on July 10, 2006 and retired on March 1, 2012 due to a disability.
Rodriguez said that Carter drove onto the center median west of Wings Way and struck a row of bushes.
Carter then fled the scene and continued westbound on Merle Haggard even though his left front tire had gone flat, Rodriguez said.
While driving at a high rate of speed, on a flat tire, Carter failed to stop at a red light at the intersection of Pegasus Drive, according to Rodriguez.
Carter continued westbound and ran a second red light at SR-65, Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said Carter then turned his vehicle to the right, jumped the curb and drove into the Shell Gas Station parking lot located on the northwest corner of SR-65.
Twenty-year-old Leann Katherine Harris was standing outside of her vehicle pumping gas at the Shell Station.
Carter knocked down the first set of protective barrier poles and gas dispenser and as he continued, he struck Harris' vehicle pushing the vehicle into her, Rodriguez said.
The force of the impact launched Harris and a second gas dispenser several feet.
Harris was taken to Kern Medical Center and her family told 23ABC that it’s likely LeAnn will never walk again.
In addition to a broken arm and ruptured spleen, she also suffered a serious back injury. Harris' family says doctors have told them she is a paraplegic now.
You can help support the Harris family by donating here .
Distinguished Young Women Finals in Bakersfield
The 57th Annual Distinguished Young Women of California Finals will be on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30pm at Harvey Auditorium.
BPD looking for suspect in felony hit and run
Bakersfield police are asking the community for help in finding a man wanted for hit and run causing injury or death.
Delano police looking for missing man
On Wednesday, July 16 at about 10 a.m. 65-year-old Jose Juan Rodriguez was last seen at 900 Ellington Street in Delano.
New Mobile App Shows City's Bike Routes, Trails
Biking in the city of Bakersfield can be very unsafe for both the cyclist and cars on the road, but a new app "Bakersfield Bikes" shows safe…