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Local News

Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss Vehicular Manslaughter Case in Death of Montecito Woman

Trial date set for Aug. 22 for teen driver accused of striking a pedestrian on Coast Village Road

Santa Barbara County Juvenile Court Judge Thomas Adams on Thursday denied a motion to dismiss a vehicular manslaughter case and confirmed a trial date of Aug. 22.

Public defender Mark Saatjian, representing 18-year-old defendant Tyler Fourmy, and Deputy District Attorney Von Nguyen made their arguments at the end of June, but Adams didn’t make a ruling until Thursday morning, Nguyen said.

Fourmy is accused of striking 47-year-old Florinda Flores with the minivan he was driving as the Montecito woman walked to a bus stop a block from her home on Coast Village Road on May 27, 2010. She died from her injuries.

Fourmy, who was 17 at the time of the collision, has denied the charges, including transportation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, which were reportedly found in the minivan; three vehicle-code violations related to speeding, turning movements and required signals; and lack of evidence of financial responsibility upon request.

He and his parents, Patrick Fourmy and Susan Granziera, are now involved in a wrongful-death civil lawsuit filed by Flores’ family.

The 1995 Toyota Previa minivan Fourmy was driving figures prominently in the criminal case as well as the lawsuit. The vehicle was mistakenly sold by Smitty’s Towing and destroyed, which Fourmy and his parents argue left them without a full defense. They have all filed cross-complaints against Smitty’s Towing.

The Santa Barbara Police Department impounded and investigated the vehicle after the accident, but when officer Mark Hunt, the traffic investigator, returned to the Smitty’s Towing lot in Goleta months later to take additional pictures, the minivan was missing.

According to Hunt, about two months after the collision, the vehicle was sold to a company in Ventura, where it was destroyed. As a result of the incident, Smitty’s Towing was suspended from police department work for one year.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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