Claim Filed Against Pasadena in Death of Father Struck by Rock Dropped Onto Car From 134 Freeway Overpass

Published : Monday, September 17, 2018 | 5:07 AM

A boulder that killed 23-year-old Christopher Lopez was intentionally dropped onto the 134 freeway from the Orange Grove Boulevard overpass, authorities say. Image courtesy GoFundMe.

The lawyer for the wife and relatives of a man struck and killed by a boulder dropped off a Pasadena overpass as he rode in the family car on the 134 freeway last March has filed a claim against the City of Pasadena for unspecified damages

A claim is the first step in the legal process which often results in settlements and lawsuits.

On March 13, at about 8:55 p.m., Guadalupe Gutierrez, 21, was driving her husband Christopher Lopez, 23, along with her mother and 4-year-old daughter westbound on the freeway in the carpool lane going at about 70 mph when a boulder was intentionally dropped off the Orange Grove Boulevard overpass onto the traffic below .

The incident occurred in West Pasadena .

Lopez was seated in the front-seat passenger seat. The 30-to-35-pound rock smashed into his lower face and chest, authorities said at the time.

Gutierrez drove to Glendale Adventist Medical Center, where her husband died.

“This was an intentional act,” California Highway Patrol Lt. Chuck Geletko said at a Thursday afternoon press conference. “Even though the person or persons who threw the boulder may not have known who was inside the vehicle at the time, any prudent person would know that a boulder that size would seriously harm someone driving on the freeway below.”

Investigators urged the public to report if any suspicious activity had been noticed on the overpass at about the time of the incident.

To date, the California Highway Patrol has not announced any progress in identifying a suspect in the case.

The claim against the City of Pasadena for damages was filed by the R. Edward Pfiester, Jr., Esq., Law Corporation on behalf of Lopez’s wife, Guadalupe Gutierrez; Lopez’s daughter, Jayleen Lopez; his mother-in-law, Maura Gutierrez, who was in the car at the time of the incident; and Lopez’s mother and father, Nora and Francisco Lopez.

Following the incident, Gutierrez said the couple had recently decided to have a second child and just two weeks previously had discovered she was pregnant.

The claim also lists a “decendent unborn child” as a plaintiff.

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