Monday, September 12, 2011

Church Pastor Gets 7 years of Imprisonment after Fatal Truck Crash

Is it too much to ask for an additional income?

Perhaps this is the question of a pastor to God in the midst of his legal mishaps.

A church pastor was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and was sentenced to seven years and four months of imprisonment on Thursday after a truck accident in Pasadena, according to reports.

Reports said the Los Angeles Superior Court judge made a decision on Thursday after a lengthy hearing since July.

According to reports, Marcos Costa was driving a big rig along the San Gabriel Mountains down the Angeles Crest Highway when the truck's brakes went out of control on April 1, 2009. The big rig crashed into a car, causing fatal injuries to George (58) and Angelina (12) Posca. The truck hit four other vehicles and slammed into a nail salon and a bookstore, injuring three other people.

Reports said Costa ignored an alert from an off-duty firefighter that the mountain road was hazardous for the truck and that his brakes are beginning to smoke. Costa continued driving and poured water on the brakes instead of letting it cool down.

Prosecutors commented that Costa had many opportunities to stop and prevent the accident.

Defendant's lawyer argued that Costa followed directions on his GPS to traverse the mountains through Angeles Crest Highway, but did not notice any warning signals. The lawyer blamed the local officials for failing to install safety ramp near the intersection, reports said.

Reports said Costa was born in Brazil, but has resided in Everett, Massachusetts. The jury initially reduced his charges from second-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter in July. Costa claimed he is a pastor and he accepted the driving job for additional source of income.

Costa could shorten his sentence to two years for credit on his good behavior and 20 months of already served jail time. The California Department of Transportation prohibited five-axle trucks from entering an area of the Angeles Crest Highway since the accident, according to reports.

Reports said Costa sought forgiveness from the family of the victims after the verdict was given on Thursday.

Perhaps God may answer yes when a full time minister asked if it is too much to ask for more money. However, for California authorities an additional income is not bad as long as the person can fulfill one’s job responsibilities as well as legal duties. Sad to say, the pastor should have enhanced his driving skills more before risking traveling on LA roads.

Costa’s mistake was not wanting more income, but heading the advice of a GPS rather than the authorities. He could have easily asked a police officer for right travel directions and heed to the firefighters warning on the hazard. In that way, he could have saved his job as well as the lives of “his people”.

Failure to heed to warning signals is a negligent act that carries stringent penalties under California traffic law. Pursuing to travel on known hazardous road and driving a known defective vehicle is a clear sign of failing to exert duty of care. These acts resulted to the crash and the tragic fate of two occupants.

Sin perhaps is more of people’s decision to continue a known wrong conduct, ironically the law views violation similarly.

For more information on truck accident, you may consult with a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. Your attorney will help you go through the legal process. Dial 1-866-772-2889 or email us at for a free case analysis.