Trial of truck driver accused of manslaughter underway

Law enforcement personnel examine a vehicle involved in a fiery crash on Interstate 5 that killed six people on in June 2016 near Gorman.
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The jury trial of a truck driver accused of manslaughter in the deaths of two women and four children killed in 2016 got underway Monday.

Richard Lopez, 70, of Walnut, faces six misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter and one misdemeanor count of failing to comply with California Highway Patrol rules regarding hours of service for drivers, Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said last year when charges were filed.

The trial is scheduled to continue Tuesday.

Connie Wu Li, 33, Flora Kuang, 33, Jayden Li, 5, Lucas Li, 3, Sky Ng, 4, and Venus Ng, 2, were in a van from Daly City that broke down and was partially blocking the right lane near Gorman School Road on June 28, 2016, prosecutors said a year ago.

When the tractor-trailer Lopez was driving crashed into the van, it erupted in flames and went down an embankment, they said.

According to the criminal complaint, the commercial truck driver had not rested the legally mandated 10 hours after allegedly driving for more than 15 hours.

If convicted as charged, Lopez faces a possible maximum sentence of six years in jail, Santiago said at the time charges were filed.

Two others were injured when the semi-truck crashed into the minivan.

A silver-colored Toyota Sienna minivan had come to rest partially in the right lane after it was involved in a minor collision with a BMW.

 

The semi-truck then allegedly struck the minivan, according to the CHP.

 

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