Well-known Bay Area triathlete charged with felony hit-and-run

The suspect in a hit-and-run is well-known professional triathlete and Ironman champion Meredith Kessler.

August 21, 2013 7:30:18 PM PDT
A Bay Area man is the victim of a hit and run in San Francisco. The suspect is well-known professional triathlete and Ironman champion Meredith Kessler.

"It has been very difficult for me, not only me, but my family and everyone around me since the accident because I'm not the same person," Soren Krogh-Jensen said.

Krogh-Jensen, 53, still suffers from the effects of a severe brain injury. He has no sense of smell or taste and lacks energy and he says he's always depressed.

Krogh-Jensen and his wife Carolyne own an upscale furniture store near AT&T Park. On March 27, just after 1 p.m., he was in the crosswalk at 2nd and Townsend streets after having dropped off a package at a corner mailbox across from their shop.

Police say a SUV was turning onto Townsend when it hit Krogh-Jensen. When he was struck by the car, he was thrown high into the air, landing head first on the street.

Police say witnesses and security video point to Kessler as the driver of the black Jeep Cherokee that struck Krogh-Jensen.

Court documents obtained by ABC7 News say that the driver "briefly stopped and checked on the victim ... Then returned to her vehicle and drove off."

A security video shows that she stayed a few minutes before leaving. District Attorney George Gascon says that is a crime.

"You have an obligation to stop; you have an obligation to identify yourself and certainly when we have people injured, if you're not going to render aid personally, you should try to get someone else to do so," Gascon said.

A security camera from AT&T Park revealed the Jeep with a partial license plate leaving a garage and driving towards 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. But witnesses say her car "almost lost control after contacting the victim."

Kessler was charged with felony hit-and-run. She pleaded not guilty during her arraignement on Tuesday.

The affidavit 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. ABC7 News left messages for Kessler and her attorney but they were not answered.


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