SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Oscar Lopez, 32, of Rotterdam was found guilty of seven charges—including aggravated vehicular homicide—for causing the death of Amanda Slaven on Nov. 1, 2020.
A two-week-long bench trial left the findings of the case up to County Court Judge Matthew J. Sypniewski instead of a jury. Sypniewski found Lopez not guilty of one charge: depraved indifference murder. The defense argued that Lopez tried to avoid the crash, and that he was too impaired for “depraved indifference” to be accurate.
After midnight on Halloween, when the crash that killed Slaven on Hamburg Street in the town of Rotterdam took place, Lopez drove a truck with a motorcycle aboard with a combined weight of almost three tons. The speed limit on the arterial road is 35 miles per hour, though Lopez’ vehicle was going 94 at the moment of impact.
Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney denied that Lopez was trying to avoid the crash when his steering maneuver moved his truck into the oncoming lane. The truck’s collision data recorder shows that the brakes were not activated until .05 seconds before impact, when he was fully in that opposite lane.
Lopez was also drunk and high on marijuana and cocaine. He had a previous conviction for DWI under 10 years ago, and was driving with a revoked license. He ultimately waived a jury trial, leaving Sypniewski to decide. At sentencing on May 31, he faces eight to 25 years.