Guadalupe Romero
Paul Wellman

The mother and father of a teenager killed by a truck while crossing Milpas Street have filed a wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit against the truck’s driver, alleging he was negligent.

Armando and Guadalupe Romero, parents to 15-year-old Sergio Romero, say in the suit filed earlier this month that Manuel Flores, Jr. was negligent as he drove a flatbed truck down Milpas on October 7 and struck Romero, who was crossing the street within a crosswalk.

Sergio Romero

The parents want to be compensated for funeral and burial expenses, hospital and medical costs, wage loss, loss of use of property, and loss of earning capacity. They have “been deprived of the love, companionship, affection, society, comfort, protection, services and support of their son, Sergio Romero,” the lawsuit states.

In addition to alleging that Flores was negligent in his actions, the lawsuit also claims he violated various statutes, codes, and ordinances which would automatically mean he was being negligent. For example, Robert Stoll, attorney for the Romeros, said he received secondhand information that placed Flores’s speed at about 50 miles per hour at the time of the accident. His negligence, the suit alleges, caused Romero’s family “great mental, physical and nervous pain and suffering.”

The lawsuit also names Scolari’s, Manuel Flores, Sr., and the California Shopping Cart Retrieval Corp (CSCRC), a Burbank-based company. Stoll said he believes Flores was driving his father’s vehicle, and believes he was working at the time, collecting shopping carts for CSCRC. Stoll said his firm has interviewed Flores “at length.”

The tragedy is still being investigated by Santa Barbara police, who early on in their investigation recreated the incident. A report from police will be forwarded on to the District Attorney’s office sometime this week or early next week, Sgt. Mike McGrew said.

The collision has led to several community forums where traffic safety along the Milpas corridor has been the focus. Romero was a tenth-grader at San Marcos High School, a member of the wrestling team, and an enthusiastic guitar player.

Flores was not alleged to have been under the influence of any substance, and he was not believed to have been on his cell phone. “It’s a real tragedy,” Stoll said.


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