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DA won’t retry driver for fatal collision: Man died after being hit by concrete garbage can in San Mateo
July 31, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Josue Lopez

The driver whose out-of-control car sent a concrete garbage can flying into a San Mateo pedestrian who later died will not be retried for vehicular manslaughter because the deadlocked jury leaned so strongly toward acquittal, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Instead, Josue Vicente Lopez, 28, is left facing up to three years in prison for felony hit-and-run which is the only count on which a jury convicted in the Nov. 24, 2012, collision. Sentencing is Sept. 12.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti said her office considered asking Lopez to plead no contest to a misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charge to avoid a second trial but ultimately decided that the nature of the jury’s split left a different verdict unlikely.

“It’s not as if we have a bunch of other evidence we could get in. The evidence is what it is,” Guidotti said.

The jury also split on a count of misdemeanor child endangerment charged because Lopez fled the scene with his 5-year-old child in the car.

The accident happened on the 1700 block of South Delaware Street after the driver of a green 1994 Chevrolet Camaro later identified as Lopez reportedly 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. Authorities say Lopez checked on Aguiniga after the crash but fled the scene in his car with his 5-year-old child. Responding police officers found Aguiniga pinned between the can and tree near a bus stop. Aguiniga later died at the hospital.

Lopez told police he left the scene because he was concerned that his son would be caught in deportation proceedings and wanted to take him home first, according to defense attorney John Elworth.

Elworth was not available to comment on the retrial decision.


(650) 344-5200 ext. 102



Tags: lopez, aguiniga, child, because, later, scene,

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