A delivery truck driver was convicted Thursday of hit-and- run and vehicular manslaughter charges for running over a 19-year-old bicyclist in Anaheim and then driving off nearly two years ago.
Jurors deliberated about 90 minutes before convicting Filemon Reynaga, 49, of Sylmar, of felony hit-and-run causing death and a misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter in the Oct. 30, 2013, collision at 125 E. Orangethorpe Ave.
Reynaga, who is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 25, faces two to four years in prison.
He was making deliveries when he 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 told investigators 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 “either Mr. Reynaga didn’t cause the accident or someone else hit this individual.” He 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.
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.
— Wire reports
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