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Private service to honor crash victims

Memorial marks five years since Angel and Angelina Posca lost their lives in a big-rig accident

March 26, 2014|By Sara Cardine, sara.cardine@latimes.com
  • From left, Yanette Posca, her daughter Gianna Cereghino and daughter's husband Joe Cereghino during a memorial service to dedicate a rose garden for Posca's husband and youngest daughter at Glenola Park in La Cañada Flintridge on Thursday, April 1, 2010, on the 1-year anniversary of a fatal multi-vehicle crash caused by a runaway big rig on Angeles Crest Highway at Foothill Blvd. that took the lives of Posca's husband Angel and daughter Angelina, who was 12 when she died. A private service will be held to mark the five-year anniversary next week.
From left, Yanette Posca, her daughter Gianna Cereghino… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

On Tuesday, in the absence of fanfare or media attention, La Cañada’s tiny Glenola Park will play host to a quiet memorial service as friends and family gather to remember and mourn two of their own, whose lives were tragically cut short five years ago that day.

They will recall Angel “Jorge” Posca, 58, and 12-year-old Angelina Posca, lost the evening of April 1, 2009, when a 25-ton car carrier truck traveling south on the Angeles Crest Highway lost control of its brakes and collided with their car before careening into Flintridge Bookstore.

It is a pilgrimage the family makes every year from Palmdale to La Cañada, according to longtime friend Kristen Eddy, who lives in Pasadena.

“We will always honor them,” Eddy said. “There’s a hole in our hearts that will never really heal. There was a piece of our spirit that was taken that day, that was stolen.”

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The deaths of the father and daughter still haunt La Cañadans who remember and were involved in that fateful day and the aftermath of the criminal and civil trials that followed.

Marcos Costa, the 44-year-old driver of the truck, was arrested and served time for involuntary manslaughter, gross vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving. The city of La Cañada was one of several defendants — including Caltrans, the trucking company and the manufacturer of Costa’s GPS device — named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the Posca family in 2012, and paid a $50,000 settlement in 2012.

But for all the bad that occurred, many acknowledge some long-term good came out of it, too.

As a direct result of the accident, improvements have been made along Angeles Crest that allow trucks experiencing brake issues to exit traffic lanes.

A temporary ban prohibiting trucks with three or more axles from traveling on Angeles Crest was soon after made permanent, thanks to Bill 1361, co-written by state Sen. Carol Liu and former Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, who recalled his reaction to the events of that day in an interview.

“My own daughters were in that intersection earlier in the day, and I knew people who were in the bookstore earlier that day,” Portantino recalled. “It could have been any of us.”

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