MOAPA — A teen accused of driving drunk in a Nevada crash that killed five family members from California earlier this year hardly looked up during an emotional court hearing Wednesday, even as injured survivors gave tearful testimony.
Jean Ervin Soriano, 18, wore jail garb and didn’t speak at a 2½-hour evidence hearing in Moapa, according to court officials. The hearing is set to continue July 10.
Soriano is accused of driving an SUV that rear-ended a van carrying seven people on Interstate 15 on March 30. Three brothers, one of their wives and a girl were killed. Two other people were injured and hospitalized.
The family members had been visiting a sick relative in Denver, and were headed home to Southern California to prepare for an Easter celebration.
Soriano told the arresting trooper he had “too many” beers before the crash, according to an arrest report. Prosecutors said he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.12 percent after the crash, well over the 0.08 limit for the state of Nevada.
He was charged with seven felony driving under the influence charges and two misdemeanors.
Authorities said Soriano had escaped less than a month earlier from the Youth Guidance Center in Santa Ana, Calif., an 80-bed, unguarded facility for low-level offenders operated by the Orange County Probation Department.