AZUSA ( — The father of two children killed in a Fourth of July crash off Highway 39 in Azusa was arrested Tuesday on two counts of murder.

Two counts of murder were filed against 31-year-old Arcadio Varela Caliz, who was arrested Tuesday at the Azusa Police Department. His bail was set at $2 million, according to Azusa police.

Andrea Caliz Martinez, 12, and Christopher Caliz Martinez, 8, were thrown from the SUV driven by their father when it went over an embankment on July 4 in the hills above Azusa. A cousin said the family had gone to celebrate Andrea’s 12th birthday.

(credit: Joy Benedict)

(credit: Joy Benedict)

Caliz, whom police say is an unlicensed driver, his 32-year-old wife, Marbella Martinez, and their 13-year-old daughter, Marista, were found injured outside the vehicle.

A preliminary investigation at the accident scene showed evidence the vehicle may have been speeding just before the crash and that none of the passengers wore a seat belt at the time of the crash.


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