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78-year-old woman pleads no contest to vehicular manslaughter

A Petaluma woman made a no contest plea on Friday to misdemeanor charges of vehicular manslaughter in the death of Michael Kolb.

"This case is a sad reminder of the importance of paying full attention when operating a motor vehicle. We will continue to aggressively prosecute those who climb behind the wheel and fail to drive responsibly," said District Attorney Jill Ravitch in a statement.

It was Jan. 20, 2013, and Kolb was with his wife driving home from a Bodega Bay crab feed, eastbound on Valley Ford Road, when the crash occurred. Cynthia Light Callahan, 78, of Petaluma sat in her Nissan Rogue SUV in her driveway, waiting to make a left onto Valley Ford Road. It was a clear day and nothing obstructed her view, but Callahan suddenly pulled directly in front of Kolb's Harley Davidson motorcycle. The motorcycle hit the driver's side of the car, and Kolb was killed on impact. His wife suffered serious injuries.

Callahan will be sentenced April 21. She faces a maximum sentence of one year in county jail.

CORRECTION: This story was updated to correct inaccurate information provided by the Sonoma County District Attorney's Office, which originally stated that Callahan made a guilty plea.


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