SANTA FE SPRINGS (CBSLA) — A Los Angeles police officer was arrested after three people were killed Tuesday night in a fiery crash on the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway in Whittier.
All southbound lanes of the 605 Freeway reopened Wednesday at 4 a.m., more than five hours after the three-car pileup was first reported north of Washington Boulevard.
Mario, Maribel and their son Oscar Davila were killed in the crash.
A GoFundMe page describes the Riverside couple as people who gave more than they took and passed that down to their son, 19-year-old Oscar who worked at North High School as a tutor. He was described as a gentleman, hard worker and happy person.
“He was a wonderful tutor. Always helped me with math. Made me be a better student overall,” a student said. “I know he was a really good guy…..it’s the beginning of the year and I was looking forward to having more sessions with him, hearing the news today was tough.”
The GoFundMe page also says the Davila’s served at their church and volunteered in the community.
According to the California Highway Patrol, 26-year-old Edgar Verduzco of Santa Ana was speeding in his 2016 Chevy Camaro in the carpool lane when he struck a 2014 Nissan and a 2010 Scion from behind.
Verduzco is a two-year officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, Chief Charlie Beck confirmed. In a statement, he said the department has initiated an administrative investigation and will work with the CHP.
“However, the Department has no tolerance for driving under the influence and holds its officers to the highest standards of professionalism both on and off-duty,” Beck said in his statement. “…It is particularly troubling when one of our own police officers violates drunk driving laws, which is why a drunk driving offense always results in a personnel complaint which can lead to dismissal.”
Verduzco was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs causing bodily injury and is being held on $100,000 bail. Beck says Verduzco previously served in the Army and in Afghanistan.
The Nissan burst into flames from the impact of the crash. Three people – a mother, father, and their teenage son, all from Riverside – were trapped inside, and they were pronounced dead at the scene when the flames were put out, the CHP said. Their names were withheld, pending notification of their next of kin.
Verduzco was taken to a hospital with major injuries, including a broken nose, and the driver of the Scion, 31-year-old Berly Alvarado of Wilmington, was taken to a hospital after complaining of pain, CHP officials said.
The CHP report says alcohol is being considered a factor in this crash, which remains under investigation.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)