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Montebello : Manslaughter Retrial for Bus Driver Postponed

September 01, 1988

The retrial of a Montebello bus driver charged with vehicular manslaughter in connection with the death of a 3-year-old girl has been postponed until Oct. 17, a prosecutor said.

The retrial of George C. Schacht was to have begun Aug. 22, but was postponed to allow transcripts from his first trial to be completed, Deputy Dist. Atty. James Dabney said. A judge declared a mistrial in June after an East Los Angeles Municipal Court jury deadlocked.

Schacht is charged with two misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter in connection with the May 5, 1987, accident that claimed the life of Sylvia de Luna.

Dabney alleged that the city bus driver made an unsafe start and operated his bus negligently. Two witnesses at Schacht's first trial testified that the girl was dragged by the bus after its rear doors closed on her leg as she tried to exit at a stop in East Los Angeles. The Montebello girl fell into a coma and died of multiple injuries 10 days after the accident.

Defense lawyer F.A. de la Pena maintained that Schacht operated his bus safely and implied that the girl exited safely and fell back into the bus as it pulled away. A key defense witness said she saw the child standing safely on the sidewalk before the accident.

Schacht continues to drive for Montebello.

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