Saturday, February 6 , 2016, 10:51 pm | Fair 51º

Manuel Flores Sentenced to Maximum Year in Jail in Death of Sergio Romero

Driver had entered no contest plea to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge stemming from 2011 Milpas Street collision

By William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk Publisher | @noozhawk |

The truck driver who struck and killed a Santa Barbara teenager on Milpas Street last fall was sentenced Friday to the maximum one year in jail and has had his license suspended.

Earlier this month, Manuel Flores Jr., 20, of Santa Barbara, had pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of vehicular manslaughter in the Oct. 7, 2011, collision that killed 15-year-old Sergio Romero.

Romero, a San Marcos High School sophomore, was in the crosswalk at Milpas Street at Ortega Street when he was struck.

His parents, Guadalupe and Armando Romero, have filed a civil lawsuit against Flores, claiming personal injury, wrongful death and property damage. General negligence and negligence per se are also listed as causes of action against him.

The lawsuit states that Flores was driving the truck at the time of the incident as part of his job, and lists California Shopping Cart Retrieval Corp. and Scolari’s Food & Drug Co. as defendants.

At a community forum last year, Santa Barbara police Sgt. Mike McGrew said the then-19-year-old Flores was traveling at “a minimum of 49 miles an hour” when he struck Romero.

Romero’s parents and the public have since implored city officials to make public-safety changes to prevent more pedestrian deaths.

City engineers have dismissed the possibility of a traffic light at the Milpas-Ortega intersection, but are exploring other improvements, such as restriping Milpas to close the distance for pedestrians crossing the street.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

» on 03.17.12 @ 03:01 PM

One year in prison for killing someone?
There are much longer sentences handed down for much more minor offenses.
Something seems inequitable here.

» on 03.18.12 @ 10:50 AM

I am not so sure that “City engineers have dismissed the possibility of a traffic light,” but rather they are recommending that the city comply with the State vehicle laws that prohibit a traffic signal when the conditions do not meet certain criteria.

So if some people do not like this recommendation by the city staff, they should focus their outrage onto the State of California legislature that made this law in the first place.

» on 03.19.12 @ 01:54 AM

The other night I was driving on that same cross road & I almost hit a man walking across the street! It was dark and he was wearing dark clothes! No light shines there at all; I did notice the crossing white lines they look whiter BUT I almost hit a man there!It Was very scary and I was very upset knowing I almost hit someone! Who are those people who are making a mess of this city! Building & tearing down! Moving the old greyhound historic building! Starting projects and NOT finishing them due to the budget! How many raises have they received & why so many Indians rather than 1 chief! You might as well tear out the old fig tree and charge at La Cumbre plaza, where else can the leaches suck out blood for themselves rather than helping people! Where has the humanity gone!!!!

» on 03.21.12 @ 05:52 AM

What good will it do putting him in jail. He had the decency to stop and help the victim. He wasn’t drinking, and from what I understand he has no criminal record and is gainfully employed. I am not sure what we will accomplish by incarcerating him. Surely there are other ways to punish him without ruining his life as well.

» on 03.21.12 @ 06:52 PM

The crime here is we tell people, human beings they have the right of way on a thoroughfare where they compete with 2 to 15 ton hurling hunks of metal and that those driving the hurling hunks of metal must stop. However no regard is given to the safety awareness of the pedestrian, they can wear all black and thus become invisible at night and still you the driver must “see” them and stop. Good luck.

More emphasis should be put on pedestrians BEING SAFE rather than on pedestrian safety or more slaughter like this will happen and the only ones benefitting are the friggen lawyers.

I’m telling you people, this entitlement minded nanny state attitude being foisted on the public by certain groups only benefits the legal industry and no one else. We are turning the public into irresponsible, careless dependencies’ and in this particular case a young man is dead and another’s life is destroyed, while lawyers get rich off a third party with deep pockets. No amount of striping, lights or other motorist distracting paraphernalia will solve the problem. Having the awareness and common sense to look both ways before you step off the curb will save your life; all other instruments are an illusion.

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