Maldonado’s son driver in fatal accident

August 22, 2014
Abel Maldonado

Abel Maldonado

The 16-year-old son of former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado was the driver of a truck that struck and killed a cyclist on Foxen Canyon Road in Santa Maria on August 9, according to the Santa Barbara Independent.

Maldonado’s 16-year-old son, who is not being named, was the driver and his 18-year-old son Nicolas Maldonado was a passenger in the truck towing a horse trailer when it struck and killed a Chula Vista man. Matthew Troy O’Neill ,33, was pronounced dead at the scene.

California Highway Patrol officers are investigating the incident and looking at factors such as speed, distracted driving and failing to follow the California Vehicle Code.

State law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from transporting passengers under 20 years of age unless “accompanied and supervised by a licensed parent, guardian, or other licensed driver 25 years of age or older.”

Neither of the Maldonado brothers was injured in the accident. Investigators do not think drugs or alcohol were a factor in the incident.

In July 2012, Nicolas Maldonado was riding with his mother when a driver failed to heed a stop sign also on Foxen Canyon Road in Santa Maria. The driver of that car died and Maldonado and his mother were sent to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

At that time, Abel Maldonado was running for congress. Investigators determined the deceased driver was at fault for the accident.


I am farrrrr not a political fan of Mr. M, and these are two kids, 16 and 18 are not in a political race. This is a tragedy for the family and the cyclist. As a parent I know that while we do our best to raise our kids with responsibility and moral convictions, $hit happens. While I think as a community we have a right to know the facts as another person tragically lost his life, we do not have a right to lynch mob mentality on this. I have been disgusted the past two weeks at remarks, hatred, rioting, rush to guilt with facts by persons of power, law enforcement, and government leadership just because!

Because Mr. M is their father does not give society the right to condemn these kids without due process. They should certainly be treated equal to any other person or child in this situation but not worst because of who their father or their name is.


SLOBIRD,truer words have never been spoken. Would it were the knuckledraggers

could have such sense infused in them.


Regardless of how you spin it, this is nothing less than a terrible tragedy. A family is mourning the loss of their loved one and a boy is suffering the affects of such an accident.

My condolences to both parties.

RIP Mr. O’neill


Anyone who disses on the basis of sheer partisanship is a fool. This is not a personal

attack. This is an attack on wingnutsmanship. It’s O.K. to blast a kid because his father

is someone you disagree with but it’s not O.K. to point that out. Censorship pure and



A politician who can’t even run his own household. By the ages of 16 and 18 his kids have learned to the art of breaking the law and covering it up. What a surprise.


Remember Former San Luis Obispo County Public Works Director Paavo Ogren or County Tax Assessor Frank Freitas or do you think this only happens with politicians with a R next to their name?


No. I hate all politicians equally. Actually I despise the d’s even more than the R’s, especially the emporer with no clothes currently occupying the White House, and the fools who elected this disinterested, incompetent snake oil salesman –twice.

Strange how people disagreed with the comment. The politician obviously can’t control his kids as they were breaking the law and that resulted in someone’s death, unless, because of who their father was, they felt the law didn’t apply to them -which is a likely scenario.

The 16 year old was involved in another fatality a few months before (not his fault), but you would think that would have taught him that driving a car is as serious as a heart attack.


And by the way, ken Frieda’s was a friend of mine. The girls in the crosswalk were high on meth (excluded evidence), and he did nothing wrong but lost a year of his life and eventually a lot more because of that liberal rag the new

So don’t imply to know the direction I am coming from. D or r. Please.


The younger Freitas also had a history of road rage( excluded evidence), and I wasn’t aware that even though I am in a crosswalk and might be under the influence that that gives the right to any driver to plow into me and drive off. Good to know thanks for the info.


He would have never been charged but for the road rage article in newtimes. Was not speeding, and by the way, do your research on the trial, the girls were not in the crosswalk. PubliC perception became truth.


Wrong, the girls were at a intersection, it doesn’t matter if they stepped out of any painted lines by a few inches, the young Freitas killed the girl, and received special treatment period.


An accident is not a crime. One does not go to jail for an accident. If so, the driver that hit and killed the Ksby woman would be in jail.

Freitas was not initially arrested because police determined it was a terrible accident, just like countless other fatalities that occur. He was arrested due to the da bringing charges because of public pressure (see duke lacrosse case, ferguson Missouri, countless others). If he were unknown, he would not have been arrested. Because his dad was tax collector, he was.

Period. Asshole


Are you making things up? crime, I never said anything about a crime, just that he killed the girl and he got special treatment, all true statements. You are obviously a friend of the family and don’t want to see the fact that special treatment happened, we understand that, and since in the end all you have is to call someone a name, we also understand that. Name calling is usually the last resort of a person who’s position has failed and they can not support it, clearly this is the case here.


“Asshole” No, stop the personal attacks.



actually my position is correct. The government cannot take your liberty (put you in jail) for non-criminal activity. Vehicular manslaughter is a crime. He was convicted of it, therefore he is a convicted criminal.

My apologies to you and the moderator for the name. I was responding to the word “Period”, which means end of argument. Response by me was uncalled for.

He was my friend and I feel he was railroaded because of his dad’s public status. 2 sides to every story. Unfortunately I don’t know where he is now or what has happened to him.


“he was railroaded because of his dad’s public status” and many feel he received special treatment because of his Dad’s public status.


What a F&$%#&%#g surprise. Nearly two weeks later we hear a partial truth. So does the Sheriffs department in Santa Barbara work for the “People” or just Able? The Sheriff botched the whole Goleta issue a few months back and is still there. Now he is doing his part to protect Able’s son. Anyone else would have been booked already. I am sure it was entirely the bicyclist fault, he was simply in the kids way.


What does the sheriff have to do with this incident?

Kevin Rice

CHP handles accidents on county roads. Sheriff handles crime. Either may respond first-in, but it’s CHP’s handle.


Accident on August 9th. 13 days and counting. Does it take this long to fact find when its not a politically connected fatal accident? Investigators do not “think” drugs or alcohol were a factor in the incident. Well, they shouldn’t have to” think” about it. The boy should have been tested, as he was the driver in a fatal crash and was already driving illegally. It Will be interesting to see IF officers and / or their superiors did drug or alcohol testing. I’m sure the Maldonado’s have lawyered up. The Maldonado’s lawyer should be able to retire soon from defending the family’s ongoing disregard of the law. I predict an out of court settlement in the future….


There are a lot of possibilities as to the cause. I suspect that the investigating officer would have tested for alcohol/drugs if there was any signs that they could have been a factor. Does Abel Maldonado have enough political influence anymore to affect a fatal traffic investigation? I tend to doubt it but I could be wrong.


No, UnAbel Maldonado has no influence.


I would hope not. Just so tired of seeing the 2 system party of the law. The law should be equal and as we see so often, it isn’t. Color me jaded.


Personal attack deleted.

Please note if your comment consists of just a personal attack it’s gone no matter how high school funny it might be.

? or !


How do you know they DIDN’T test for drugs? I have seen fatal investigations take weeks and even months because they don’t want to leave any stone unturned. Quit crying “conspiracy”


Unfortunately for the liberals, there is a thing called probable cause in our laws. Lacking probable cause, law enforcement can not demand a chemical test for drugs or alcohol. That is why they use the word “think”. The fact that his father belongs to a politic party that you do not support, does not wave this kids constitutional rights.

To demand a blood/alcohol test simply because of an age restriction would be like demanding a blood/alcohol test for you for speeding over the limit. Sure it is illegal, but without probable cause to suspect drugs/alcohol the officer can not demand these tests.


On Aug 14, CCN already covered this incident.

Am I missing new info here or this just a repeat of the previous story?


The previous report had an unidentified Juvenile as the driver and Maldonado’s older son as the passenger. It was not known (to the public) until now, that the juvenile driver was also a Maldonado, possibly, because of his age.


Thanks for clarifying, guys. I appreciate the info.


The previous story only identified the passenger as Maldonado’s son. Since the driver was not legally an adult, they didn’t ID him in that story (from a TV station). The story from the Independent gets into a lot more detail including the fact that other drivers who had seen the cyclist shortly before hand said he was riding on the far right and was “lit up like a Christmas tree.” (This occurred shortly before sunset so the setting sun may have played a role but I am still betting on distracted driving, inexperience or reckless impatience as the major factor.)


Lesson learned here….if any of the Maldonado’s are driving, stay out of their way!!


Sounds like his 16 year old son wasn’t ready to drive…let alone be pulling a horse trailer.

fishing village

sad, very sad for everyone involved.