A judge has set bail at $250,000 for a 26-year-old man accused of fatally striking a pedestrian near a K-Mart in San Mateo on Saturday, then fleeing the scene, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Josue Vicente Lopez, a San Mateo resident, appeared in court for the first time since the crash on Monday but did not enter a plea.
The private defender's program was appointed, and a San Mateo County judge ordered Lopez to return to court on Dec. 4 to enter a plea and set a preliminary hearing date in connection with Saturday's crash that killed 67-year-old Reynaldo Jesus Aguiniga, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Aguiniga, a San Mateo resident, was standing behind a concrete trash can next to a SamTrans bus stop in the 1700 block of S. Delaware St. when, at about 11:30 a.m., a car hit the trash can, pushing it from its base and sending the trash can into Aguiniga.
The crash left Aguiniga pinned between the concrete trash can and a tree that lines the east side of the sidewalk on South Delaware Street, San Mateo police said.
Lopez was allegedy driving the 1994 Chevrolet Camaro that hit triggered the crash and has been arrested in connection with the incident, San Mateo Police Lt. Ted Gonzales said.
Lopez reportedly got out of his Camaro, briefly checked on the victim, and then fled in his vehicle north on South Delaware, according to Gonzales.
Aguiniga was immediately transported to a nearby hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Numerous witnesses in the area provided police with a description of the suspect vehicle, partial license plate and description of the driver.
Police personnel were able to quickly follow up on the information from witnesses and located a vehicle matching that description in San Mateo.
Officers contacted Lopez, who was arrested without incident.
Witnesses positively identified the vehicle and suspect as being involved in the fatal hit and run accident, police said.
At the time of the accident, Lopez had a 5-year-old child in the backseat of his vehicle. The child and Lopez did not sustain any injuries.
There is no indication drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash. Lopez has been booked in to San Mateo County Jail on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, felony hit and run and child endangerment.
Police say witnesses played a very important role in solving this crime. Anyone with additional information is urged to contact the Police Department via below listed numbers.
- SMPD: (650) 522-7700
- Secret Witness Line: 650-522-7676
- Text Anonymously:650-262-3473
- Email Anonymously: email@example.com
Lopez remained in custody as of Tuesday morning.