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An 18 year old driver who crashed into the back of a van while under the influence of alcohol, killing five and injuring two others, had escaped from a juvenile detention center some 30 days before the crash took place.

According to an investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Jean Ervin Soriano had escaped from the Youth Guidance Center in Santa Ana on March 1, a facility run by the county’s probation department. Details about the means of his escape have not been made known.

Soriano is facing a litany of charges after crashing his Dodge Durango SUV into the back of a Chevy Astro van at around 3 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 15, 30 miles south of the city of Mesquite, Nevada. The collision sent the van rolling off the road and into the surrounding vegetation. Five of the seven passengers on board were killed. Police reported that most of the victims had been thrown from the vehicle as it rolled.

The victims have been identified as 41 year old Gernaro Fernandez of Norwalk; 49 year old Raudel Fernandez-Avila and 53 year old Belen Fernandez of Lynwood; and 45 year old Leonardo Fernandez-Avila and 13 year old Angela Sandoval of Los Angeles. A 15 year old boy and 40 year old woman who have yet to be identified survived the crash.

Police reported that numerous beer bottles were in Soriano’s vehicle at the time of the crash, and an arrest report noted that Soriano told his arresting officers that he had had “too many” drinks before the accident. After receiving treatment at a nearby hospital, he was booked on seven counts of driving under the influence, as well as driving without a license and failing to reduce speed. If convicted, he will face between eight and twenty years in state prison. His bail had been set at $3.5 million, and he is due back in court on April 10th.

If you or someone you know has been hurt in a crash with a driver under the influence, you should seek help. By taking legal action with the aid of an experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyer, compensation can be recovered to help you get back onto your feet.

At AA Accident Attorneys, we will work hard to get you the full amount that you are rightfully owed. We understand the troubles you face on California’s crowded and dangerous roads, both as qualified legal professionals and as neighbors who drive the same roads and live in the same communities.

As always, we will charge you nothing for our services until your case is won. If we do not collect on your case, then you will owe us nothing. Call us today for a free evaluation and to learn what a skilled car accident lawyer can do for you!

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