Jury selection begins in Mollie Stone's crash trial

February 24, 2010 12:39:43 PM PST
Jury selection begins today in San Mateo County Superior Court in the trial of a truck driver charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in connection with a devastating crash that killed a 9-year-old boy outside Mollie Stone's grocery store in San Mateo in 2008.

Carlos Siordia, 44, faces up to a year in county jail if convicted, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. He has pleaded not guilty.

Siordia was driving a construction truck that plowed through the intersection of Olympic and 43rd avenues in San Mateo and struck a sport utility vehicle at about 1:15 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2008.

Both vehicles then traveled into the Mollie Stone's parking lot and hit seven other cars and a pedestrian.

Tyler Fahy, who was a passenger in the SUV, died at the scene. His mother and two other women were injured.

The crash, which produced a scene one police lieutenant compared to a war zone, overwhelmed the community. A memorial was set up after the crash in front of a tree at the edge of the Mollie Stone's parking lot, where Tyler's friends and family left flowers, balloons and pictures of the boy.

Siordia was charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in December. He turned himself in to the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Office after a $25,000 arrest warrant was issued, and then posted bail on Dec. 24.

Siordia reportedly told police after the crash that he pumped the brakes in an attempt to stop the vehicle but that the brakes didn't work.

The district attorney's office had the truck inspected by several experts, who concluded that both the foot brake and the emergency brake were functional at the time of the crash, Wagstaffe said.

Siordia is out of custody on a $25,000 bail bond.

Jury selection is tentatively scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.