1 week, 2 dead in separate Orange County hit-and-run crashes involving large trucks

Kevin Montalvo Lopez, 23, dies after being taken off life support

The family of a man who died after being hit by a truck is hoping that drivers will be reminded to use caution on the roads.
The family of a man who died after being hit by a truck is hoping that drivers will be reminded to use caution on the roads.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Kevin Montalvo Lopez's family made the decision Friday to take him off life-support four days after the 23-year-old was hit by with dump truck while on his motorcycle.

The crash happened at the intersection of Orange Blossom Trail and Kaley Avenue around 6 a.m., according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The driver of the truck said they had no idea Lopez was hit.

According to the crash report, the semi dump truck was traveling southbound on Orange Blossom Trail and attempted to make a left to turn on Kaley Avenue. When the semitruck turned, the motorcycle driven by Lopez struck the right, rear tire of the truck's trailer.

Troopers said the semitruck driver continued down Kaley Avenue unaware that he was even involved in a crash.

"A good Samaritan followed the truck," FHP Lt. Kim Montes said. "Followed him down Kaley when he stopped directed him that he had been involved in a crash."

Montes said the driver came back within 10 minutes visibly upset and is cooperating with troopers. Charges against the truck driver are pending, she said.

"That wasn't Kevin ... that wasn't him," said friend Ismael Ocasio of his friend being taken off life support Friday.

Lopez's death marks the second person killed at the fault of a truck driver in the same week. On Wednesday, 10-year old Kevin Pope was hit and killed by a semitruck while on his way home from Wetherbee Elementary School. The semitruck driver did not stop.

At first, troopers want to give the driver of that truck, who still hasn't been found, the benefit of the doubt of maybe, like in Lopez's case, he didn't know. However, as time goes by authorities say that may change.

"We are into two days after this crash (investigation) now and there has been so much publicity about it -- either the truck driver is not from this area or he is not willing to come forward," Montes said.

She also added truck drivers are held to a high standard and have to have a specialized commercial license and have more responsibilities when it comes to being safe on the road.

"There are blind spots in a truck but those drivers are trained to overcome those obstacles and make them a better driver so when we do have crashes with semitrucks, although some can be explained, it doesn't give them excuse," Montes said.

Lopez's friends and family hoping to raise awareness for all drivers, especially truck drivers to pay attention and be more careful when behind the wheel.

"I'm just devastated not just because one of them was my friend, but the other was a 10-year-old boy," Ocasio said. "Today it's my friend. Tomorrow it could be someone else and we just don't want that."

Lopez's sister started a GoFundMe to help his family pay for medical, and now, funeral expenses.

About the Author:

Nadeen Yanes joined News 6 as a general assignment reporter in 2016. She grew up in Leesburg and graduated from the University of Florida. Nadeen has won three Associated Press Awards for her reporting on the Pulse Nightclub shooting, the trial of the Pulse gunman's wife and the capture of an accused cop killer, Markeith Loyd.