15-year-old Carlos Manzo sat in the front seat of his fathers pick-up truck, revving up the engine. A buddy sat beside him in the passenger seat. “You could just see it on their faces; they were going to do something dumb,” said Antonio Lechuda, a neighbor who was watching the scene unfold. Then, they did.
Suddenly, and apparently without paying attention to what was behind them, the truck was thrown in reverse. The red Dodge pickup truck careened out of its driveway, plowing over two little girls. The children, 8-year-old Ibeth Rodriguez, and 9-year-old Jasmine Hernandez, had been riding along on their bike and scooter when they were hit. Both girls were rushed to the North Colorado Medical Center in critical condition. Jasmine died from her injuries less than an hour later, at around 4:30 P.M. Ibeth survived. The two girls were cousins, and both lived in the same house with their mothers, who are also sisters.
The accident occurred in Greely, Colorado, just before 4 P.M. on Monday, August 27, 2007. “I saw the kids out there. I thought ‘there’s no way he’s going to back up.’ And he threw it in reverse, and he just plowed over those girls,” said another neighbor, identified only as Laurie.
“I think they were just messing around, trying to show off. But it’s still senseless.” Laurie described how she dialed 911 after seeing the accident and then sat with the mothers of the girls as they waited for paramedics to arive.
The boys fled the scene after the accident. Police tracked down the truck later on that day, at around 5:30 P.M., and arrested 15-year-old Carloz Manzo, believed to be the driver. He was later charged with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident after causing death, leaving the scene after serious bodily injury, and two counts of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. He faces from 10
to 41 years in prison if convicted.