Tragedy Strikes East LA Family In Nevada

Alleged drunk driver crashes into their car, killing 5.

By City News Service

Coroners in southern Nevada identified the five victims of a car crash northeast of Las Vegas as Los Angeles County residents, and an 18 year-old man from Southern California is charged with drunken driving and causing the crash.

The crash occured at 2:53 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 15 about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas.

The five victims were identified as members of a family from East Los Angeles who were returning home following a visit to the ailing father of three the victims.

Killed in the accident were brothers Genaro, Leonardo, and Raudel Fernandez also killed were Raudel’s wife Belen and Angela Sandoval, the thirteen-year-old daughter of Leonardo’s girlfriend Maria Cardenas. Sandoval attended Eastmont Intermediate School in Montebello.

Two of the brothers, Genaro, 41 and Leonardo, 45 lived for years with their families on Northside Drive in East L.A.

Sandoval’s older brother Eddie was also severely injured in the crash, as was their mother who was reportedly driving the vehicle when it was hit.

A 1999 Dodge Durango driven by an alleged drunken 18-year-old Southern Californian named Jean Soriano allegedly caused the crash, according to a Nevada Highway Patrol report. The truck hit a 2002 Chevrolet Astro Van, according to a highway patrol official.

The van rotated clockwise and overturned off the right side of the roadway. As it spun and rolled, five of the seven people in it were thrown out, according to the NHP.

One survivor was a 15-year-old boy who also was thrown from the vehicle. The other survivor was the van’s driver, a 40-year-old woman who was wearing a seatbelt.

They were taken in critical condition to University medical Center in Las Vegas, the NHP said. Their names were being withheld.

Soriano’s Dodge truck also spun to the right side of the desert freeway, and landed on its roof. Soriano was treated at a hospital and then booked into the Clark County Detention Center on suspicion of drunken driving.

His passenger, a 23-year-old man, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was treated and released from a Nevada hospital, according to the NHP.

Beer bottles were found in the Dodge Durango and that troopers performed a blood alcohol test on Soriano at the hospital.

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Loy Hixson told a Las Vegas media member that the results won’t be known for a couple of weeks.

Authorities believe Soriano was returning from a visit with family in Utah back to Southern California at the time of the crash, Hixson said.

Information obtained by EGP was used in this report.

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April 4, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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