Crime

Los Osos woman avoids jail time for nephew’s death in 2014 crash

Simon Brito, left, and Mason Simmonds-Gibson were killed in a 2014 rollover crash in Cayucos after their driver, 22-year-old Tanner Mengore, allegedly smoked synthetic marijuana.
Simon Brito, left, and Mason Simmonds-Gibson were killed in a 2014 rollover crash in Cayucos after their driver, 22-year-old Tanner Mengore, allegedly smoked synthetic marijuana.

A 21-year-old Los Osos woman who pleaded no contest last month to misdemeanor child abuse for a 2014 rollover crash that killed her brother and nephew will avoid jail time in exchange for her testimony against the driver.

Wendi Brito Gallardo was babysitting her nephew, 22-month-old Mason Simmonds-Gibson, when the driver of their vehicle, 22-year-old Tanner Mengore, lost control and crashed on Highway 1 in Cayucos.

The crash killed the toddler and Brito Gallardo’s 17-year-old brother, Simon Brito. Another brother, 23-year-old Michael Brito, and Brito Gallardo both suffered serious injuries.

Prosecutors allege the group was returning to Los Osos from a Cambria smoke shop. Members of the group, including Mengore, smoked synthetic marijuana before driving south, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Brito Gallardo initially faced up to 90 days in San Luis Obispo County Jail in exchange for her no contest plea to causing willful harm to a child likely to cause great bodily injury, and her testimony at Mengore’s upcoming trial.

However, Superior Court Judge John Trice suspended the jail sentence and instead sentenced Brito Gallardo to four years of supervised probation.

Mengore is due in court in March. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter.

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