Borrero enters guilty plea in fatal accident
A Towanda man involved in a fatal April 2013 motor vehicle accident in Ulster Township entered a guilty plea this week in county court.
Manuel Jesus Borrero, 21, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of involuntary manslaughter, a first-degree misdemeanor, according to Bradford County district attorney Dan Barrett.
Borrero's case was called for a pre-trial hearing Tuesday, during which Borrero pleaded guilty to the charge, also known as negligent homicide, Barrett said.
The prosecution was prepared by assistant district attorney Al Ondrey, he said. According to court documents, Borrero is represented by attorney Craig Kalinoski of Scranton.
Borrero's sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 4, Barrett said. Under the state's sentencing guidelines, a first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to five years' confinement.
Borrero, the operator of a 2001 Audi A4 found to have inadequate brakes, was traveling southbound on Route 220 at about 5:40 p.m. on April 21, 2013, when the vehicle crossed into the northbound lane about a third of a mile north of the road's intersection with Bridge Street, striking a 2007 Dodge Ram operated by 24-year-old Kyle Decker of Gillett.
Upon impact, the Ram lost its front driver side tire, flipped onto its passenger side and then onto its roof before striking a utility pole, according to a criminal complaint filed with the court by state police at Towanda. Deputy county coroner James Bowen pronounced Decker dead at the scene, according to police.
In addition to involuntary manslaughter, police initially charged Borrero with homicide by vehicle, a third-degree felony, and 12 summary offenses.
Borrero told police that he had pulled over to the side of Route 220 just prior to the accident because his brakes "didn't feel right," police said. Upon re-entering traffic, vehicles in the southbound lane began to slow down for a vehicle making a left-hand turn into a driveway, Borrero told police. Borrero tried to brake, but his brakes "went to the floor," according to police.
Borrero then tried to downshift and swerve around the vehicle in front of him in an attempt to pass between the SUV and Decker's truck, but struck the truck, he told police.
A police inspection of Borrero's vehicle revealed that it would not have passed a state inspection, police said. Police said the Audi's brake pads were lower than state minimum requirements, both rear tires had inadequate tire tread and tire cord showing and the rotor braking system had visible severe gouging. The vehicle's registration had expired in March 2013, police said.
Police found two bottles of rum behind the driver's side seat in Borrero's car at the scene of the accident, police said. A test of Borrero's blood came back negative for the presence of alcohol.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.