Crime & Courts

Lopez to be tried as adult after fatal 2016 wreck on McLean

A 19-year-old Wichita man will be tried as an adult for a 2016 street racing accident where his passenger died.

Luis Alejandro Lopez was arrested Tuesday and posted the $5,000 bond later in the day. Charges for vehicular homicide and aggravated battery were filed in district court on Aug. 26 for the November 2016 wreck. In October 2018, the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Lopez in juvenile court but changed course two months later with a motion to try Lopez as an adult.

Just before noon on Nov. 14, 2016, the 16-year-old was driving a 1995 Honda Prelude on North McLean Boulevard and lost control after passing 15th Street, where the road curves to the left.

Lopez was going between 76 and 81 mph when he lost control, police records show, and crossed the centerline. McLean has a posted speed limit of 40 mph.

Lopez fishtailed and hit the front of a southbound Maximum Tree Service Ford truck with the passenger side of the Prelude at roughly 78 mph, records show.

Passenger Jeronimo Acosta, 16, died at the scene.

Lopez was taken to Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in critical condition and treated for internal bleeding as well as damage to his kidney, liver and lungs.

Ryan W. Fox, who drove the work truck, suffered a fractured right knee and “other injuries.” Fox’s two passengers were taken to St. Francis as well.

Drivers Christian Rodriguez and German Vega told police they were racing when Lopez lost control. Police listed the weather as “clear, dry and approximately 70 degrees.”

Lopez faces two counts: vehicular homicide, a misdemeanor, and a felony charge of aggravated battery against Fox.