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Man found guilty of running red light resulting in death of pedestrian, 90, in Santa Barbara

Posted at 8:38 AM, Apr 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-19 11:45:36-04

A driver who police say hit a 90-year-old pedestrian in Santa Barbara has been found guilty of vehicular manslaughter.

According to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, Lawrence Forgione, 66, was convicted Thursday in the death of Gilbert William Ramirez on State Street back in February 2018.

Officials say Ramirez was crossing the middle of the 500 block of State Street in a crosswalk when Forgione ran a red light, hitting Ramirez.

Ramirez was taken to the hospital and later died from his injuries.

“These cases are always difficult to prosecute for a variety of reasons,” Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said in a press release, “but this thorough traffic investigation… made this prosecution possible, and the hard working jury made it successful… Although Mr. Forgione clearly had no intention of killing Mr. Ramirez, driving through a red light is always inherently dangerous and at
times like this – deadly.”

The jury returned with the guilty verdict in less than two hours.

Forgione is scheduled to be sentenced May 28.

Driver charged with manslaughter in death of Santa Barbara pedestrian