by David Krough and KGW.com Staff
Posted on January 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM
Updated today at 12:57 PM
VANCOUVER, Wash. — A hit-and-run driver who killed a Vancouver teacher was texting and smoking a cigar when the accident happened last September.
In court Friday, 18-year-old Antonio Eugene Cellestine was sentenced to five years in jail on vehicular manslaughter after changing his plea to guilty under an agreement with prosecutors.
Gordon Patterson, a career and technical teacher at Hudson’s Bay H.S., was struck and killed near the intersection of NE St. Johns Road and 41st Street in Vancouver.
Officers later located the vehicle involved in the crash and arrested Cellestine, a former student at Hudson’s Bay High School.
Cellestine said he was greatly remorseful about the death, before Patterson’s family spoke at the hearing. He also read a statement admitting he was text messaging and smoking a cigar at the time of the crash.
According to authorities, Cellestine was driving with a suspended license at the time of the crash. Cellestine’s record includes two instances of driving with a suspended license, as well as driving without insurance and a July 23 incident where he was cited for possession of marijuana.
(KGW Reporter Erica Heartquist contributed to this report)