The man charged in the deaths of five members of a Southern California family in an accident near Mesquite was being held Monday on felony drunken driving charges with bail set at $3.5 million.
Jean Soriano, 18, who told the judge he lives in St. George, Utah, will be assigned a public defender for his arraignment April 10. He had previously lived in California, but it wasn’t immediately clear where.
He was hospitalized for several hours after the crash, then taken to the Clark County jail, the Nevada Highway Patrol said.
The victims were identified Sunday as Genaro Fernandez, 41, of Norwalk; Raudel Fernandez-Avila, 49, and Belen Fernandez, 53, of Lynwood; and Angela Sandoval, 13, and Leonardo Fernandez-Avila, 45, of Los Angeles.
The Nevada Highway Patrol said the family was southbound in a van on Interstate 15 near Mesquite with two other family members around 3 a.m.
Soriano was driving a sport utility vehicle when he struck the van from behind, causing both vehicles to lose control and roll.
He told the arresting trooper he had “too many” beers before the crash, according to an arrest report made public Monday.
Results of a blood-alcohol test on Soriano were pending, authorities said.
The other two van passengers remained hospitalized Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.