Vehicular manslaughter trial enters third week

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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 enters its third week as prosecutors are scheduled to continue making their case Tuesday.

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, according to Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The trial began Feb. 6, when lawyers with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office delivered their opening statements. Prosecutors continued making their case this past week.

“People’s testimony continues on Feb. 19,” DA spokesman Paul Eakins said Friday.

A crash killed Connie Wu Li, 33; Flora Kuang, 33; Jayden Li, 5; Lucas Li, 3; Sky Ng, 4; and Venus Ng, 2, when they 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 shortly after the incident. When the tractor-trailer Lopez was driving crashed into the van, it erupted in flames and went down an embankment, they said at that time.

The commercial truck driver had not rested the legally mandated 10 hours after allegedly driving for more than 15 hours, according to the criminal complaint. If convicted as charged, Lopez faces a possible maximum sentence of six years in jail, Santiago said at the time charges were filed.

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