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With Costa trial over, what will be done about Crest safety?

Costa's trial is over, but improvements to Crest safety remain a priority.

August 03, 2011|By Daniel Siegal, daniel.siegal@latimes.com

While the memories of the deadly runaway truck collision on the Angeles Crest Highway that killed two, injured several and left a 25-ton big rig sitting inside a local bookstore have begun to fade for some, life will never be the same for the family of the victims.

Marcos Costa, the driver of the runaway double-deck car carrier, could end up on probation or serving little to no time after a jury on Friday found him not guilty of second-degree murder. Or he could serve years in prison.

The jury did convict Costa of involuntary manslaughter, gross vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving for the April 1, 2009 crash. In that crash, his big rig, having lost its brakes during the steep Crest descent, slammed into a car containing Palmdale resident Angel “Jorge” Posca, 58, and his 12-year-old daughter, Angelina, killing both.

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Yanette Sofia Posca, wife and mother, respectively, of the victims, said after the trial ended that she felt bad for Costa and his family as well.

“When I first heard, I was sad, because you know what, whatever the verdict would have been, it’s not going to bring them back,” Posca said. “Two families are torn apart now.”

Still, she made it clear that her family would not forget the man they consider responsible for the accident.

“He’s going to have to carry this for the rest of his life,” she said. “We’ll never get over it, not ever.”

Costa’s big rig went through the intersection at Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge during the evening rush hour and crashed into the Flintridge Bookstore.

Peter Wannier, owner of the business, was present when Costa’s truck slammed into his store, and said he felt like the trial had come to the rightful conclusion.

“I think that’s a reasonable verdict, from what I know about it,” said Wannier. “He deserves to answer in some way for what he did and what he failed to do.”

Costa’s attorney, Edward Murphy, said outside the Los Angeles County Superior Courtroom in Pasadena last Friday that with Costa already having served 20 months, he could come out of the Sept. 8 sentencing hearing without having to serve any further time in custody. The maximum sentence he could receive would be nine years in prison.

“He’s feeling very good, he gave me a hug,” Murphy said of his client.

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