Trial date is set in fatal big rig crash

The driver charged with murder in the April 2009 Angeles Crest Highway runaway truck crash that killed two people in La Cañada Flintridge is scheduled to start June 20.

Marcos Costa, 46, appeared for a pretrial hearing Monday in a Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse in Pasadena where attorneys on both sides of the case told the judge they were ready to start jury selection next week.

“We’re ready to go, and I expect the jury to find Mr. Costa not guilty of all the charges. This was a horrible accident, and that’s what it was — an accident,” said Edward Murphy, the attorney who represents Costa.

The trial is expected to take four to six weeks, Murphy said.

Palmdale resident Angel Posca and his 12-year-old daughter died when Costa’s speeding truck collided with their car and several others at the highway’s terminus at Foothill Boulevard before smashing into a storefront.

Costa faces a possible life sentence on charges of reckless driving, vehicular manslaughter and two counts of murder brought by a grand jury indictment in June 2009.

A Massachusetts resident and native of Brazil who has relied on Spanish and Portuguese translators in court proceedings, Costa had for months attempted to work in his own defense while in custody at Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.

He accepted Murphy as his court-appointed defense attorney in January, and posted bail a short time later.

On March 17, Costa filed a civil lawsuit against local, county and state agencies claiming that improper maintenance of Angeles Crest Highway was to blame for the fatal collision. He is working as his own attorney in that case.

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