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Oakland Artist Killed in Hit & Run

The City of Oakland has been hit with another high-profile and fatal pedestrian accident. On March 7th, an out-of-control vehicle jumped the curb in West Oakland and struck and killed Celeste Jewel Howell, 50, a celebrated local artist and jewelry designer.

ABC7 is reporting that the accident occurred at approximately 2:20pm in the 800 block of Pine Street. When officials arrived, the driver had already sped off. Shortly thereafter, Howell was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel.

Two days later, Oakland police announced that they had discovered that the automobile involved in the collision was stolen. According to Contra Costa Times, authorities are now offering a $10,000 award for information leading to the arrest of the driver.

Speaking with the press, Howell's loved ones were reeling from her unexpected death. Her sister, Cheryl Williams and longtime partner, Brian Mason spoke with ABC7. "She had the biggest heart of anyone on the planet," Mason is quoted saying. "I think she couldn't get out of the way in time... I'm devastated."

Howell's loss will be felt beyond just her immediate loved ones. As an active member of the city's creative community, she designed and made jewelry in Jack London Square that was showcased at Berkeley's ACCI Gallery.

Criminal vs Civil Action

The driver in this case is already vulnerable to a number of possible criminal charges—from auto theft to reckless driving—but when he or she is caught, Howell's family and loved ones may also have the option to seek a wrongful death civil suit in this case—especially if it was proven that Howell's death was a result of negligence (dangerous driving) and not a willful act (murder). Many facts are yet to be seen, but for now, only one thing remains certain: identifying and arresting the driver responsible is the first and foremost priority.

If you or a loved one have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, then call us today. At Clancy & Diaz, LLP, our Oakland personal injury lawyers have assisted countless victims and their loved ones pursue the compensation they deserve.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.