Los Angeles man's death likely due to injuries received in accident

January 26, 2001|By MARCY MISNER, Staff Writer

A Los Angeles man died this morning likely from injuries sustained in a Jan. 7 rollover automobile accident on Interstate 8 east of Calexico.

Jesus Lopez, 32, died just after midnight today in El Centro Regional Medical Center, where he had been under a doctor's care since the accident.

According to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Henry, Lopez was the front-seat passenger in a car driven by Raul Lopez Pizano, 31, of Lynnwood. The two were traveling back to the Los Angeles area with Abygail Pizano, 53, of Lynnwood after visiting family in Yuma.

Raul Pizano was driving in the right lane of Interstate 8 one mile east of Highway 98 when his car drifted into the center median about 3 p.m. and Pizano overcorrected, causing the car to overturn. Henry said the car landed on its roof in the center median. Lopez, who was wearing a seat belt, was trapped in the car. The Pizanos also were wearing seat belts, Henry said.


According to the police report, Lopez was conscious and alert when emergency crews removed him from the car. Henry said Lopez had no feeling or sensation in his body from the chest down, according to the report. He was taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center and was treated there until he died.

Raul Pizano was treated at El Centro Regional for pain in his left shoulder and Abygail Pizano was treated there for a broken left arm, abrasions to her face and complaints of pain.

The Highway Patrol filed charges against Raul Pizano for being an unlicensed driver and making an unsafe turning movement. Henry said because Lopez died, Highway Patrol officers will review the case and may consider additional charges.

Henry said it appears the two men are related, but information on that relationship was not clear this morning.

County Coroner's Office Investigator Gary Hayes said it is probable Lopez succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the crash. An autopsy is set for Saturday.

Staff Writer Marcy Misner can be reached at 337-3441.

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