Trucker charged with six counts of vehicular manslaughter returns to court

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

A trucker charged with the killing of two women and four young children three and a half years ago returned to court Tuesday, and his retrial was continued until Jan. 20.

Richard Lopez, now 72, is once again being tried for six counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter.

Lopez is accused of having struck 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.

The two women who died inside the burning 2016 Toyota Sienna 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.

At the beginning of 2019, Lopez had lengthy two-month trial in San Fernando. The case ended with a hung jury and a mistrial was declared.

The judge turned down Lopez’s lawyer’s request for the case to be dismissed.

On Nov. 18, a new jury trial was scheduled for Lopez on Jan. 7 in Department A of the San Fernando Courthouse, according to Venusse Navid, public information officer for the District Attorney’s Office.

In the first trial, jurors voted 8-4 not guilty. Deputy District Attorney Jamie Castro was the prosecutor.

“It was scheduled for jury trial but it has not started yet,” Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the DA’s office, said on Tuesday. “They continued it to Jan. 20.”

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