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SUV hits van in Nevada, killing 5 members of L.A.-area family

March 30, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz

Five members of a Southern California family -- a man, his teenage daughter, and her aunt and two uncles -- were killed early Saturday in southeastern Nevada when a drunk-driving suspect crashed into the back of their Chevy Astro van on Interstate 15, authorities said.

Loy Hixson of the Nevada Highway Patrol said 18-year-old Jean Soriano was driving a Dodge Durango on I-15 about 30 miles south of Mesquite around 3 a.m. when he struck the back of the Astro - which was carrying seven members of the same family.

The Astro spun around and overturned, ejecting five of the family members, Hixson said. He said the identities of the deceased had not been released but believes the family is from the Los Angeles area.

Hixson said the two survivors from the van included a 40-year-old mother and 15-year-old son, both of whom were in critical condition late Saturday.

Soriano and a 23-year-old passenger in the Durango also survived.

Hixson said authorities "had every reason to believe [Soriano] was under the influence while operating the vehicle" and that his blood was being tested. Beer bottles were found in his vehicle, Hixson said.

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ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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