Driver fails to appear in court for crash that killed family of 6

A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of a driver who is accused of killing a family of six in a crash that took place several years ago in Los Angeles County, California.

The driver, Richard Lopez, 73, is pending his third trial related to the fatal crash.

In total, Lopez faced six counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and one misdemeanor count of failing to comply with California Highway Patrol rules regarding hours of service for drivers.

The crash, which took place on June 28, 2016, killed Connie Wu Li, 33; Flora Kuang, 33; Jayden Li, 5; Lucas Li, 3; Sky Ng, 4; and Venus Ng, 2. The family was inside a van that broke down and was partially blocking the right lane near Gorman School Road, prosecutors said shortly after the incident.

Allegedly, Lopez had not rested the legally mandated 10 hours after he had been driving for more than 15 hours when he struck the van with his truck at 3:37 a.m.

Lopez’s second trial, which took place in 2019, ended in a hung jury. Their 7-5 vote in favor of Lopez’s guilt on the manslaughter charges led to a mistrial being declared.

However, Lopez was convicted of the misdemeanor count of failing to comply with California Highway Patrol regulations as a commercial driver.

On March 12, 2020, Lopez was sentenced to probation, 90 days in jail, 10 days of community labor, and the suspension of his commercial license for the charge.  

Lopez did not appear for his Sept. 18 court date regarding a third trial for his remaining misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter charges. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest as a result and a new hearing is set for Oct. 15.