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Man charged in Aug. 2019 fatal crash
Justin Tyler Celeste
Justin Tyler Celeste

A man involved in a fatal single-vehicle accident in August, 2019  turned himself in Wednesday on new charges after a Bulloch County Grand Jury indicted him Nov. 4 on 1st degree vehicular homicide charges.

On Aug. 12, 2019, Justin Tyler Celeste, 32, Pembroke, was charged in a crash on Highway 119 at Mud Road that injured passenger Emma Padgett, 32,  whose address was unavailable according to Georgia State Patrol Post 45 reports. As a result of investigations, Celeste was then charged with failure to maintain lane; reckless driving; criminal attempt to commit a felony; attempt or removal of an officer’s weapon; DUI, and obstruction, reports stated.

However, after Padgett died in April 2020, the case returned to court and the grand jury issued a bench warrant for Celeste for 1st-degree vehicular homicide, said Ogeechee Judicial Circuit Assistant District Attorney Catherine Findley.

GSP reports said Celeste was traveling South on Highway 119 approaching its intersection with Mud Road when he lost control of his vehicle and it struck an embankment. The vehicle then overturned several times and landed on its roof.

Padgett was taken to a Savannah hospital and succumbed to her injuries several months later, she said.

After the bench warrant was issued, Celeste surrendered himself to the Bulloch County Jail, where he remains without bond, according to jail records.


Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.


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