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Driver arrested for deadly Royal Palm Beach school bus stop crash

Angel Antonio Lopez, 57, was under the influence during March 22 wreck, investigators say
Angel Lopez, 57, arrested on April 6, 2022.jpg
Posted at 1:58 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 19:22:21-04

ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Palm Beach County man has been arrested after authorities said he was driving under the influence and crashed into a group of Royal Palm Beach students at a school bus stop last month, killing two 15-year-old children.

Investigators said Angel Antonio Lopez, 57, was taken into custody Wednesday on charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury, driving under the influence causing property damage or injury, and reckless driving.

The sheriff's office said Lopez was driving a 2018 Alfa Romero Stelvio around 7 a.m. on March 22 and lost control, drove onto a sidewalk, and struck four Royal Palm Beach Community High School students who were waiting for their school bus at the intersection of Crestwood Boulevard South and Cypress Lake Drive.

Two of those children, a boy and girl, both 15, tragically passed away. Two others — ages 16 and 17 — are out of the hospital and recovering from their injuries.

A 2018 Alfa Romero Stelvio involved in a deadly crash at Crestwood Boulevard South and Cypress Lake Drive in Royal Palm Beach on March 22, 2022.jpg
A 2018 Alfa Romero Stelvio involved in a deadly crash at Crestwood Boulevard South and Cypress Lake Drive in Royal Palm Beach on March 22, 2022.

During a news conference Wednesday, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office officials said toxicology tests revealed a prescription sleeping pill, temazepam, in Lopez's system.

Investigators added the amount of temazepam in Lopez's bloodstream at the time of the crash was more than four times the legal limit.

"Toxicology was done and the results showed he was over four times the legal limit that a normal person would take for the medicine he was taking," said Maj. Talal Masri.

"When you're dealing with prescriptions, the person may have the prescription," Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said. "You have to have an expert to say, what's the normal level of that that should be in the bloodstream based on what the prescription tells you to take versus your abuse of it."

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The sheriff's office said Lopez had slow speech and signs of impairment after the wreck.

"These things are very, very labor-intensive and there's a lot of moving parts, especially when you have the possibility of people being impaired," Bradshaw said. "We've only got one opportunity here to get this right. If we make a mistake and these people walk, it's back on us. And that's not what the family and this community expects. They expect excellence."

The victims' attorney, Lance Ivey, released the following statement after the arrest:

First and foremost, Ruth Webster and the entire family of Rondell Lawrence, wish to express their appreciation to Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, the Deputies at the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and to State Attorney Dave Aronberg, and his fine Assistant State Attorneys for the arrest and charges brought against the Defendant. Based upon the limited information known about the facts leading up to this gross, horrible and extremely preventable tragedy, the family has a scintilla of relief that the initiation of some sense of Justice has now begun.

WPTV contacted Lopez's attorney for a comment but has not heard back.