A teen that escaped from a California juvenile detention and crashed a vehicle weeks later, which killed five Southern California family members in Arizona, was charged with seven felony DUIs on Wednesday.
Authorities say Jean Ervin Soriano, an 18-year-old, also faces two misdemeanor charges of failure to decrease speed and driving without a license. He was driving with a blood-alcohol content percentage of 0.12, which is well above the Nevada legal limit of 0.08 percent.
Soriano was allegedly behind the wheel of vehicle on Interstate 15 while driving under the influence of alcohol. He was about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas in a 1999 Dodge Durango when he lost control of the vehicle and hit a Chevy Astro van.
Inside the van were seven people – all family members. On impact their vehicle spun around and overturned. While turning, most of the occupants were ejected from inside the vehicle and suffered fatal injuries.
Soriano and a 23-year-old passenger in the SUV were also hurt when their vehicle rear-ended the van carrying a trio of brothers and four other family members back to the Los Angeles area for Easter after visiting a sick relative in Denver.
After the collision, a witness told investigators that he saw Soriano and his passenger walk away from the crash site but then returned before rescue crews arrived.
Soriano was arrested shortly after being treated and released from a hospital, per reporters.
He told the arresting trooper he had “too many” beers before the crash, according to an arrest report. Then when officials searched the wrecked SUV, they found several scattered empty beer bottles rolling inside.
Soriano is being held at Clark County jail on $3.5 million bail in isolated protective custody. He told the judge he used to live in California but moved to St. George, Utah. He told his attorney he feels scared about what happened and has been praying for the family members killed and injured at the wreck.
Authorities in Orange County, Calif., said that Soriano fled on March 1st from a juvenile guidance center in Santa Ana that treats drug and alcohol abusers.
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