A delivery truck driver ran over a 19-year-old bicyclist and then drove away, a prosecutor told jurors Monday, but the defendant’s attorney said another driver was likely responsible for the death.
Filemon Reynaga, 49, of Sylmar, is charged with felony hit-and-run causing death and a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter in the Oct. 30, 2013, collision at 125 E. Orangethorpe Ave. in Anaheim.
Reynaga, who was making deliveries, pulled out of a driveway on Missile Way onto Orangethorpe about 5:35 a.m. and struck Manual Morales Rodriguez of Fullerton, according to Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell.
A second vehicle also struck the victim, but unlike Reynaga, that driver remained on the scene to speak with authorities, the prosecutor said.
The owner and general manager of the heating and air conditioning company that employed Reynaga is expected to testify that when he contacted the defendant about the collision, he was still making deliveries, Cornwell said. Reynaga’s boss told him to go back to the scene and wait for officers, the prosecutor said.
A police inspection of the truck showed damage to the front end and “fresh scuff marks” beneath the cab and tires, Cornwell said. A broken fog light found at the scene matched where one was missing on the truck, he said.
Reynaga’s attorney, Chaim Magnum, told jurors that the evidence will show “either Mr. Reynaga didn’t cause the accident or someone else hit this individual.”
The defense attorney also suggested his client may not have been aware of colliding with the victim.
A witness, Michael Villareal, testified that he was on his way to work when he saw a body in the road along with a banged-up bicycle before he came across the truck with its hazard lights blinking.
Villareal testified he pulled over to call 911, and then he saw the driver of the truck “walk back toward the body.”
Villareal said he saw the company name Casco in red lettering on the side of the truck and noticed the driver get within a few feet of the body. The witness said was still on the phone with a 911 dispatcher and had lost sight of the truck driver when he heard tires screeching and looked up to see the victim get struck by a car, Villareal testified.
That driver got out of his vehicle, looked underneath to see the body stuck there, “and then I saw him put his hands on his head,” Villareal testified.
— City News Service
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