Suspect In Fatal Hit & Run Admits To Street Racing
DENVER (CBS4) – A suspect in a fatal hit-and-run appeared in court Tuesday morning and told CBS4 from jail afterwards that he left the scene because he didn’t want to be arrested.
Oswaldo Lopez, 21, is being held in the Denver Jail on a $50,000 bond. He’s facing charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.
The arrest affidavit states Lopez’ vehicle was traveling 60 mph Sunday night when it hit Michael Espinoza, 11, who was crossing Federal Boulevard.
Lopez confessed to CBS4’s Jennifer Brice on Tuesday that he is guilty and said he was participating in street racing at the time of the accident.
“It probably was. It was … a race,” he said. “Not that I wanted to, but yeah, it was. It was a street race.”
Police arrested Lopez a few hours later in Aurora after evidence at the scene led officers to his home.
“It happened (at the) wrong place at the wrong time,” Lopez told CBS4.
Espinoza was heading home Sunday night with his cousin from a nearby Denny’s at Federal Boulevard and West Colfax Avenue when the crash happened.
Lopez said the race involved a motorcycle and that he didn’t know the driver. He said he didn’t see the children in the street until he was close to them.
“I tried to stop but the car kind of swerved and it just didn’t want to stop and kept going,” Lopez said. “I just went to my home, explained to my mom.”
He said he discussed turning himself in with his mother when officers arrived at his home.
“I felt guilty and just overwhelmed,” Lopez said. “It wasn’t my intention to run him over. I’m very sorry about it.”
Gwen Espinoza, Mikey Espinoza’s aunt, said her son was with Mikey Espinoza when he was hit and has been traumatized.
“My son is 14 years old, having to see his cousin die in his arms, alone,” Gwen Espinoza said. “I would have no bad feelings toward him if he would have just stopped and helped my son deal with this. My son is scarred forever.”
Lopez told CBS4 he had “a few Coronas” before the accident but that he was sober at the time of the incident.