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Friends honor motorcyclist killed by alleged drunk driver

Juan Moreno Lopez died May 1 after being hit by car

A motorcyclist killed in a head-on crash Thursday night has been identified.
A motorcyclist killed in a head-on crash Thursday night has been identified.

Juan Moreno Lopez was an artist, musician and friend, but those who knew him best said he was a dreamer.

"He was proud of where he came from. He achieved a lot. He went out there, tried a bunch of new stuff, and never gave up," said Lopez's childhood friend Miguel Guevara.

Lopez was born in Mexico and grew up on the city's southeast side in a tight-knit community.

Last November he became a U.S citizen and had his whole life ahead of him, until it was cut short on May 1 by an alleged drunk driver.

According to police, Ruben Quinones was speeding in the 2500 block of East Southcross when he lost control of his vehicle. The car slammed head-on into Lopez's motorcycle. He died at the scene.

"It tore me apart knowing that pretty much the best man I know was taken," said Joel Deleon, another childhood friend of Lopez. "He's the kind of person you want to have as a friend. I'm proud to call him a brother and he's going to be missed dearly."

Quinones now faces intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault charges.

Lopez graduated from Highlands High School. Margaret Cardenas, whose son was a close friend of Lopez, said she's devastated that a young man with the brightest of futures has lost his life due to a senseless act.

"It hurts. It's a kid," Cardenas said. "They were all going to be something someday, and now it's sad to know that it's over for him."

In the wake of his death, Lopez's friends said the least they can do to honor him is to speak out against drunk driving.

"When you have a friend that's drunk and you know they can't drive, stop them," Deleon said. "It can be your mother, it can be your father, your brother, any family that they could take."

Lopez's family and friends will hold a barbecue fundraiser on May 10 to help pay for funeral arrangements.

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