The truck driver involved in a fatal 2009 collision on Angeles Crest Highway was convicted Friday of two counts of vehicular manslaughter, but the jury found him not guilty of more serious second-degree murder charges.
Marcos Costa, 46, also was convicted of three counts of reckless driving causing an injury.
Costa’s big rig lost its brakes as he traveled downhill on Angeles Crest Highway. The runaway car-hauler sped through the intersection at Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada Flintridge and slammed into a vehicle carrying Palmdale residents Angel Posca, 58, and his 12-year-old daughter Angelina, killing them.
Several other cars were hit, and the truck came to a halt in a bookstore.
Prosecutors had argued that Costa acted with willful disregard for human life as he proceeded down the steep mountain highway and ignored warnings about his truck’s brakes.
Costa’s defense said the crash was an accident that the Brazil native had sought to avoid.
Edward Murphy, Costa’s attorney, said outside court that with Costa having already served 20 months in jail while awaiting trial, he could emerge from the Sept. 8 sentencing hearing without having to serve additional time. The maximum sentence he could receive is nine years in prison.
“He’s feeling very good, he gave me a hug,” Murphy said of his client.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Darrell Mavis ruled that Costa could remain free on bail, over Deputy Dist. Atty. Carolina Lugo’s objections.
Yanette Sofia Posca, whose husband and daughter were killed in the crash, spoke emotionally about her daughter after the verdict was read.
“I feel bad for anybody who didn’t know her … she was a beautiful, talented little girl,” Posca said, holding up a T-shirt with a photo of her daughter’s face on it.
She said she also felt bad for Costa and his family. “Whatever the verdict would have been, it’s not going to bring them back. Two families are torn apart now.”
Still, Posca said 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.”