Thursday, September 24, 2020
Sept. 24, 2020

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Driver who killed teacher in new trouble

Cellestine went to prison for 2009 hit-and-run death


A Vancouver man who went to prison for the 2009 hit-and-run death of a popular Hudson’s Bay High School teacher is wanted on a warrant for allegedly jumping bail on his latest criminal charge.

Antonio E. Cellestine, 23, was arrested Feb. 9 on suspicion of first-degree driving with a suspended license. He failed to appear for his Feb. 12 arraignment, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He also did not appear for a hearing Thursday in Clark County Superior Court to revoke his bail on a previous felony drug case.

He has been in and out of jail and prison on a series of offenses since he pleaded guilty to the vehicular homicide of Gordon Patterson and was sentenced to five years in prison.

At the time of his most recent arrest on Feb. 9, Cellestine already had pending charges connected with allegations in December that he sold drugs at a west Vancouver apartment complex and drove with a suspended license.

Cellestine was texting his girlfriend and driving when he struck Patterson, who was riding his bicycle home from work in the bike lane on Northeast St. Johns Road at 4 p.m. Sept. 15, 2009. He pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and hit-and-run death, marking the first vehicular homicide conviction in the state based on text-messaging, then-Deputy Prosecutor Jim David said at the time, according to The Columbian’s archives.

A few months after the early completion of his sentence for Patterson’s hit-and-run death, Cellestine violated conditions of his release and committed new traffic offenses, including attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and driving with a suspended license.

He was sentenced in August 2013 to 15 months in prison for the traffic offenses and release condition violations.

Texting while driving became a basis for a vehicular homicide charge starting in July 2008.

Cellestine’s bail bond company has until April 13 to secure his appearance in court or forfeit the $500 bond, according to court records.