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Driver pleads not guilty in fatal collision
December 05, 2012, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Josue Lopez

A driver whose out-of-control car sent a concrete garbage can flying into a 67-year-old San Mateo pedestrian who later died pleaded not guilty yesterday to gross vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run and misdemeanor child endangerment.

Josue Lopez, 26, appeared in a San Mateo County courtroom for the second time yesterday since his arrest in the death of Reynaldo Aguiniga who was left pinned against a tree by the bizarre accident. Lopez allegedly checked on Aguiniga after the crash but fled the scene in his car with his 5-year-old child and was later arrested.

Lopez pleaded not guilty to all counts Tuesday afternoon and was given a Jan. 31 preliminary hearing estimated to last two hours. Lopez’s $250,000 bail was upheld and he remains in custody.

The fatal accident occurred at approximately 11:30 a.m. Nov. 24 in the 1700 block of South Delaware Street after the driver of a green 1994 Chevrolet Camaro later identified as Lopez lost control of the vehicle while speeding out of the Kmart parking lot.

The car reportedly jumped the curb, went onto the sidewalk and into a cement garbage container that dislodged and hit Aguiniga. Responding police officers found Aguiniga pinned between the can and tree near a bus stop. Aguiniga later died at the hospital.

San Mateo police tracked down Lopez to his home using witness descriptions of the suspect car and a partial license plate number.

Police say drugs and alcohol don’t appear to be factors.

If convicted of all charges, Lopez faces approximately seven years in prison, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Defense attorney Geoff Carr could not be reached for comment.

Michelle Durand can be reached by email: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.



Tags: lopez, aguiniga, later, mateo, police,

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