Vehicular manslaughter trial gets underway for 2017 crash


The trial of a Littlerock man charged with vehicular manslaughter in the highway death of a Palmdale man two years ago got underway this week.

Jury selection began Tuesday in the case of Joe Lopez, 27, who appeared each day this week in San Fernando Superior Court.

Opening statements were expected to be delivered Wednesday, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Lopez is accused of slamming into the back of a parked car on the shoulder of Highway 14 on Aug. 13, 2017, killing an occupant of the car, 62-year-old Sam H. Edinburgh, of Palmdale.

Lopez was reportedly driving a 2004 Toyota Matrix northbound on Highway 14, north of Soledad Canyon Road, where he started approaching a Toyota Corolla, according to investigators with the California Highway Patrol.

Lopez’s car drifted into the right shoulder, and the front of the car collided with the Corolla, according to investigators.

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On Twitter: @jamesarthurholt

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