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According to a local San Francisco ABC news station, American professional triathlete Meredith Kessler has been charged with felony hit-and-run for an incident that happened in San Francisco on March 27, 2013.
The news report states that an SUV hit 53-year-old Soren Krogh-Jensen in a crosswalk at 1 p.m. on that day. Krogh-Jensen told the news station he still suffers from the effects of a severe brain injury.
The court documents obtained by the news station state that the driver “briefly stopped and checked on the victim … Then returned to her vehicle and drove off.”
A security camera revealed the Jeep with a partial license plate leaving a garage and driving toward that intersection just before the accident. Weeks later, investigators returned to the garage and found the SUV. Its license plate showed the car belonged to Kessler.
In a subsequent interview with investigators, Kessler said she thought Krogh-Jensen suffered a stroke and that’s why she stopped, not because she hit him. According to the news report, witnesses say her car “almost lost control after contacting the victim.”
The affidavit obtained by ABC7 News says during the police interview, Kessler said she left the scene because she was late getting to the airport and she thought the victim was in good care.
According to the news report, Kessler was charged on Tuesday and pleaded not-guilty at an arraignment.
The 35-year-old professional has had a season of ups and downs. Kessler won Ironman New Zealand in Taupo on March 2 before finishing a disappointing 12th at the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in Melbourne on March 24, three days before the alleged hit-and-run. Kessler came back to win one of the most prestigious 70.3’s of the year at the Ironman 703. U.S. Championship in St. George, Utah on May 4. Kessler later competed at Ironman 70.3 Eagleman in Cambridge, Md. on June 9. She was leading the race when she collided with an age-group athlete and suffered a severe concussion, among other injuries. She came back to win last month’s Ironman 70.3 Vineman and Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens. She has been in the process of training for October’s Ironman World Championship.
Triathlete.com has reached out to Kessler for comment, and will continue to provide updates to this ongoing story.