Jurors undecided in San Mateo vehicular manslaughter case 

Jurors Monday found a truck driver involved in a fatal crash outside a San Mateo Mollie Stone’s grocery store in 2008 not guilty of driving a vehicle in the commission of an unlawful act, but were unable to reach a verdict on the misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge.

The jurors stated in San Mateo County Superior Court they were unable to reach a consensus on the misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge in the case against 44-year-old Carlos Siordia.

But after Judge Mark Forcum questioned each juror, four said they believed additional legal instructions might aid in their deliberations and possibly help them reach a verdict on the first count.

Siordia, who is out of custody on a $25,000 bail bond, cried silently as the verdict for the second count was read.

Siordia was driving a construction truck that plowed through the intersection of Olympic and 43rd avenues in San Mateo and struck a sport utility vehicle at about 1:15 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2008.

Both vehicles then traveled into the Mollie Stone’s parking lot and hit seven other cars and a pedestrian.

Tyler Fahy, 9, who was a passenger in the SUV, died at the scene. His mother and two other women were injured.

Siordia has maintained that the brakes on the truck didn’t work, and defense attorney John Elworth said during closing arguments that Siordia was consistent in his interviews with police.

During his closing arguments, prosecutor Michael Wendler pointed out two possible theories to the jury as to what Siordia is guilty of.

The first theory is that Siordia committed “an unlawful act with ordinary negligence” causing death, and the second is that Siordia committed an infraction, such as speeding or coasting, causing death.

Elworth, however, told the jurors that the prosecution’s inability to pinpoint a specific crime that occurred is what makes his client not guilty.

The jurors were instructed to return to court today to continue their deliberations.


 

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