LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A 27-year-old Los Angeles police officer is facing murder charges in a violent crash last September on the 605 Freeway in Whittier that killed a Riverside family of three.
Edgar Verduzco has been charged with three counts each of murder and vehicular manslaughter, along with one count each of driving under the influence and driving with a .08 blood-alcohol content causing injury, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office reported Friday.
On Sept. 26, 2017, Verduzco was speeding on the southbound 605 Freeway north of Washington Boulevard in his 2016 Chevy Camaro when he rear-ended a 2014 Nissan and a 2010 Scion from behind, causing a three-car pileup.
The Nissan struck a center-divider and burst into flames, killing its three occupants: 60-year-old Mario Davila, his wife, 52-year-old Maribel, and their son, 19-year-old Oscar.
The occupants of the other two cars, including Veruzco, sustained minor injuries. He is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol at the time.
The Davila family ran a salon and barbershop. Oscar worked at North High School as a tutor. The Davilas were survived by three other children.
A two-year veteran of the LAPD, Veruzco was initially arrested on the day of the wreck, but was released from jail on Sept. 27 pending an investigation. He was initially placed on administrative leave by the LAPD, which was changed to “relieved of duty” status pending the outcome of the case.
The DA’s office filed a warrant for his arrest on Wednesday. His arraignment scheduled for Friday in downtown L.A. was postponed until May 16. He was ordered jailed on $6.1 million bail.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
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