Reward Offered After Father is Killed by Boulder Thrown Onto Freeway

The boulder killed Christopher Lopez as he rode as a passenger with his wife and daughter in the car

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors offered a $20,000 reward Tuesday for information that leads authorities to whoever dropped a boulder from a Pasadena freeway overcrossing that landed on a young couple's car, killing a 23-year-old expectant father.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger made an emotional plea for witnesses to come forward in "this horrible, horrible murder of Christopher Lopez."

Given the incident's proximity to the city's busy Old Town district, "there's no question that someone saw something," Barger said. "I would beg you to come forward."

Lopez's pregnant wife, Guadalupe Gutierrez, was driving last Tuesday evening on the westbound Ventura (134) Freeway in the carpool lane, traveling about 70 mph, when the boulder came down on the couple's 2017 Toyota Corolla from an overpass at Orange Grove Boulevard.

The rock, which weighed about 30-35 pounds and was a little smaller than a basketball, came through the front windshield of the car and hit her husband.

"It is believed someone purposely threw the large boulder from the Orange Grove Boulevard overpass onto the SR-134 Freeway, causing fatal injuries to the passenger," the California Highway Patrol said in a statement.

Gutierrez, 21, drove to Glendale Adventist Medical Center, where her husband died of his injuries.

She was unhurt, as were her mother and her 4-year-old daughter, who were in the back seat when the boulder dropped into the car after being heaved over a fence that runs along the overpass.

Gutierrez said she and her husband had recently learned she is pregnant with their second child.

"He didn't deserve this," she said through tears at a news conference last week outside the CHP's Altadena Area Station, as she urged witnesses to contact investigators. "My daughter didn't deserve this."

Anyone with information was asked to call the CHP Altadena Area Station at (626) 296-8100. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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