(Woodland, CA) – February 23, 2018 – Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that on February 22, 2018, Yolo County Superior Court Judge Timothy Fall sentenced Gerardo Lopez, a 23 year-old-resident of West Sacramento to 6 years 8 month in State Prison for causing the death of 37-year-old Sherrie Ann McKinney. On January 24, 2018, Lopez pled no contest to Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Driving Under The Influence and Driving Under The Influence Causing Injury. Lopez was driving with a blood alcohol percentage of 0.17, over twice the legal limit.
On May 30, 2017, Lopez was driving from Woodland to West Sacramento. Lopez had been spotted driving recklessly on I-5 in Woodland before exiting at Old River Road headed towards West Sacramento. Once Lopez turned onto West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento he reached speeds of 88 miles per hour, nearly twice the speed limit and at one point entering the opposing lane of traffic. Lopez then ran a red light at the intersection of I-80 and West Capitol Avenue. As Lopez was running the red light he was driving at a speed of 82 miles per hour. Victim Sherrie Ann McKinney had been waiting patiently at the crosswalk for the “walk” signal. After the “walk” signal turned Ms. McKinney made it only a few yards into the crosswalk Lopez stuck her with his car killing her almost immediately.
Lopez then crashed his truck into the back of another car causing a back injury to the driver, Oscar Hernandez. Lopez then swerved his truck over a curb, he went into the opposing lane of traffic, ran through a traffic sign, entered a park and ride lot, and then crashed into an unoccupied car. After crashing his truck Lopez quickly began to gather his property and was preparing to flee the scene on a bicycle that had been in the truck bed. However, law enforcement responded quickly and detained Lopez. Inside of the truck officers found an empty child safety seat and marijuana scattered throughout the interior. Lopez had a blood alcohol content of 0.17.
At the sentencing Sherrie McKinney was described as a person with a heart of gold who cared deeply about helping others. District Attorney Jeff Reisig said “The defendant’s decision has taken away a daughter and a friend. Ms. McKinney did everything she was supposed to that evening when her life was taken. This case highlights how misdemeanor DUI conduct can change in a second and leave an unhealable scar for a victim’s family.”