Hearing Set In Deadly Parking Lot Crash

Friday, December 26th 2008, 9:52 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The man accused of driving his car into a crowd of people, killing two of them, is headed to court next week.  Andrew Mathis is still behind bars on half a million dollars bond.  A judge is set to decide whether the criminal case will go forward on Monday.

The accident that ended with Andrew Mathis behind bars happened in a Brookside parking lot. The crash changed one woman's life. And now, she's the second person to file a civil lawsuit against him.

Carlos Lopez was a husband, a father, and a soldier.

"He came back a hero and unfortunately he had to die as one, too," said David Lopez, brother to Carlos.

Lopez didn't die on the battlefields of Iraq, but in a parking lot on Halloween night.  Tulsa Police say party-goers were leaving when a fight broke out.  They say Andrew Mathis knocked out Dennis Cox.

His family says Lopez didn't know Cox, but his Army training kicked in and he ran to the unconscious man's aid.

Police say Mathis got behind the wheel of his car and drove into the crowd of people that had gathered.  Five were injured.  Cox and Lopez were killed.

Mathis is in jail, facing two counts of murder and five counts of assault and battery.  But, his troubles don't end with the criminal charges.

"He was trying to be a good Samaritan and he almost got himself killed," said Todd Tucker.

Todd Tucker is suing Mathis on behalf of another man who also ran to help.  His face was shattered in the crash.

Now, Lopez's wife, Rubi, is also suing, claiming negligence, battery, and wrongful death.

She says her 15-month-old daughter now has to grow up without her father.  And, whether Mathis crashed his car on purpose or on accident, he should be held responsible for Carlos Lopez's death. 

A judge is set to decide on Monday whether there's enough evidence to prosecute Andrew Mathis for murder.

Calls to an attorney representing Mathis were not returned.

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