HOUSTON—Nearly two years after 11-year-old Christina Marie Lopez was fatally struck at her Texas City bus stop, a jury is being asked to decide if her death was an accident or manslaughter.
The 6th grader was waiting alone at her morning bus stop on September 24th, 2012 when she was hit. Her neighbor Hector Pena, 45, was driving his big rig truck and said he didn’t see her at the edge of the pavement at the corner of 26th Street and 30th Avenue.
He ran over her and killed her instantly. He stopped his truck immediately.
Christina’s family has settled a civil lawsuit against the driver, but Pena has been indicted for reckless driving and is charged with manslaughter.
The defense will argue it was just an accident and that the girl was sitting at the edge of the road and the driver just didn’t see her. Her father testified that at least once before she’d done that because she didn’t want to sit in the wet grass.
The prosecution expects the trial to last for several days. Now it is up to the jury to decide if what happened there was a horrible accident or a punishable crime.
The prosecution will continue to present its witnesses Wednesday.