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5 family members killed in crash; drunk driving suspected

March 31, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz

Drunk driving is suspected in an accident that killed 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.

Jean Soriano, 18, 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, according to Loy Hixson of the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The van, which was carrying seven members of the family, spun around and overturned, ejecting five people, Hixson said. The identities of the deceased had not been released but Hixson said he believes the family is from the Los Angeles area.

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, Hixson said.

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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