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Driver pleads guilty in fatal Spyglass Hill Road crash

February 08, 2011|By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com

An Anaheim man who illegally turned left in front of a group of bicyclists in Newport Beach last year, causing one rider to fatally slam into the side of his truck, was convicted of vehicular manslaughter.

Jose Luis Huerta Mundo, 38, pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, meaning he didn't know his action could kill someone, and was sentenced to 360 days in jail Monday.

Mundo was driving his landscaping truck on Spyglass Hill Road in Corona del Mar on July 15 when he made an illegal left turn onto Harbor Ridge Drive. Meanwhile, a group of morning cyclists were speeding down the hill toward Harbor Ridge, which is just after a blind right curve.

Mundo's truck was blocking the right lanes where the cyclists were riding and Michael Nine, 43, of Santa Ana, slammed head-first into the right rear side of the vehicle. He died from his injuries.

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Mundo's guilty plea comes months after a jury deadlocked on the vehicular manslaughter charge and a judge declared a mistrial.

He was sentenced to 360 days in jail and has a hold from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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