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Man sentenced for hit-and-run crash that killed mother of eight kids

Junior Rigoberto Lopez of Buena Park was sentenced to prison for fatally hitting a bicyclist with his truck and leaving the scene.

Junior Rigoberto Lopez of Buena Park was sentenced to prison for fatally hitting a bicyclist with his truck and leaving the scene.

(Anaheim Police Department)

An Orange County man was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for fleeing the scene after crashing into a bicyclist who later died.

Junior Lopez, 31, pleaded guilty in April to one felony count of a deadly hit-and-run. On Wednesday, he appeared in a Fullerton courtroom for his sentencing, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

On Nov. 1, Lopez plowed his Ford F-150 truck into Daniela Palacios, 44, who was riding her bicycle near Magnolia Street and La Palma Avenue in Anaheim, prosecutors said.

Palacios, a mother of eight children, later died at UC Irvine Medical Center.

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Lopez, a resident of Buena Park, fled the scene and drove to Mexico to repair his pickup truck, which had a damaged front grill and broken headlights, prosecutors said. He returned to Mexico on Dec. 11 to pick up his truck, prosecutors said.

Anaheim police had found pieces of the truck’s front grill and headlights at the crash site. Soon after the crash, police released photographs of Lopez’s truck taken by a surveillance camera.

In mid-December, detectives called Lopez in for questioning and noticed his truck was recently fixed, prosecutors said. He was arrested Dec. 18.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.


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