A man charged with causing a fatal hit-and-run collision at a San Mateo bus stop last month pleaded not guilty to vehicular manslaughter today. Wearing glasses and orange jail clothes, Josue Lopez, 26, appeared in San Mateo County Superior Court and entered his plea through an interpreter. Lopez has been charged with one count of vehicular manslaughter and one count of hit-and-run in connection with the Nov. 24 collision that killed Reynaldo Aguiniga, 67, of San Mateo, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Witnesses told police they saw Lopez driving recklessly out of a Kmart parking lot on Delaware Street with his five-year-old child in the back seat, according to the district attorney’s office. Aguiniga was standing near a cement garbage can and a bus stop, according to police. Prosecutors said that Lopez lost control of his vehicle, which jumped the curb and struck the cement container near Aguiniga. The container was pushed off its base and crushed Aguiniga against a tree, police said. According to witness statements, Lopez got out of his car and looked at Aguiniga before fleeing the scene. The victim was taken to a hospital where he later died.
A description of the vehicle and a partial license plate number led police to Lopez, who was arrested at his home later that same day. There was no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role in the collision. Lopez remains in custody on $250,000 bail and is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 31.
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