LAPD officer faces 3 counts of murder for alleged drunken driving crash on 605 Freeway that killed Riverside family
A Los Angeles police officer was charged with murder, drunken driving and other charges in connection with a fiery wreck on the 605 Freeway last September near Whittier that killed a Riverside family of three, authorities announced Friday.
The car carrying Mario Davila, 60, Maribel Davila, 52, and their 19-year-old son, Oscar Davila, became engulfed in flames following the crash. They could not escape the vehicle, and died at the scene.
The officer, Edgar Verduzco, 27, of Santa Ana, was injured in the three-car crash along with Berly Alvarado, 32, of Wilmington who was driving the other car he hit. The CHP said Alvarado’s 1-year-old son was not injured.
Verduzco, who was arrested in Long Beach on Friday, appeared in a Los Angeles court later in the day to be arraigned on three counts of murder, three counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, one count of driving under the influence causing injury and one count of driving with a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content causing injury.
But the arraignment was continued to May 16, according to Greg Risling, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He said Verduzco faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted of all the charges.Expla
Explaining why Verduzco was charged with murder instead of lesser charges, Risling said that Verduzco’s training and experiences as an officer made him aware of the dangers of reckless driving and driving under the influence.
The case stems from the Sept. 26, 2017 crash on the southbound 605 Freeway, south of Saragosa Street, in the unincorporated community of West Whittier.