Defense lawyers present their case in vehicular manslaughter trial

Law enforcement personnel examine a vehicle involved in a fiery crash on Interstate 5 that killed six people. Photo courtesy of Rick McClure

After six weeks of testimony and evidence presented by prosecutors in the case of a commercial driver charged with six counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, defense lawyers began arguing their case.

Lopez, 71, is charged with six misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter for allegedly having back of a minivan with his Freightliner truck at 3:37 a.m. on June 28, 2016, in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5, just south of Gorman School Road.

On Wednesday, jurors heard the lawyer for Lopez present his case.

The defense is expected to continue their arguments Thursday.

The trial, heard during the afternoons at San Fernando Superior Court, is now into its seventh week.

The two women who died inside the burning minivan were Connie Wu Li and Flora Kuang, both 33. The children killed in the same vehicle were Jayden Li, 5; Lucas Li, 3; Sky Ng, 4; and Venus Ng, 2.

Jurors have heard the testimony of California Highway Patrol officers who responded to the fatal crash and from a specially trained investigator with the the California Highway Patrol’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team.

They were also played a 911 phone call made in relation to the crash and shown an hour-long dash cam recording of Lopez as he drove through the Grapevine on the day of the crash.

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