She made the decision to drink. She ran over me and my two friends, and she fled. She killed a friend of mine. My back and other bones were broken, and I was out of work for three months, recounted Mario Lopez (in Spanish, above), to a reporter from Canal 22 yesterday.
He was one of several victims hit by 21-year-old Wendy Villegas in the incident that killed Luis “Andy” Garcia last September.
Villegas had come flying up the bridge on Cesar Chavez that fateful night, knocking Lopez aside, slamming into Garcia and dragging his bike several hundred feet underneath her car, and launching Ulises Melgar into the air so high he nearly flew over the bridge railing to the river below, all while friends Richie Berumen and Jose Vasquez watched helplessly.
But, I am going to keep fighting, Lopez continued, and I am going to campaign so that people know that we are here and we are going to achieve justice for Andy.
And, with that, the riders that had gathered at dawn at Montebello City Park pedaled off toward the courthouse in downtown L.A. to confront Villegas once again.
It was about time.
New evidence had been entered that both parties needed to review, Garcia’s mother had explained.
At the time, she also said that, while she understood that this was how the justice system worked, it was still very painful. Not least because they had seen no expression of remorse from Villegas. In fact, the only regret they heard from her seemed to be linked to the requirement that she wear an ankle monitor; her lawyer had complained this was a hardship — sartorial and otherwise — for a young college student to endure.
Thursday’s hearing brought hope that Garcia’s family and friends might finally see justice. Read more…