Officer Edgar Verduzco had been driving down the 605 freeway in Whitter when his car veered to the right into the adjoining lane and made impact with the back end of a Nissan carrying two parents and their child. The mother, father and teenage son were pronounced dead at the scene. Verduzco was suspected of DUI.
26-year-old Verduzco, an Army veteran who has worked at the front desk of the police department for two years, had allegedly been driving approximately 65 mph when he struck the Nissan causing it to combust, and leaving the victims without an escape from their vehicle. They have not yet been identified due to the state of the remains.
Immediately following the initial accident Verduzco’s car continued on and struck another vehicle before he came to a stop. The driver from the second vehicle was reported to have suffered minor injuries, and Verduzco acquired a broken nose.
According to California Highway Patrol no alcohol or open containers were found in the car, but Verduzco allegedly appeared intoxicated. Verduzco was arrested and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, and an administrative investigation has been opened by the LAPD.
Police Chief Charlie Beck spoke at a news conference on Wednesday and extended his deep sympathy for the victims and their loved ones. He also said that the investigation has not reached a point where disciplinary actions have been discussed, but if Verduzco was found at fault he could face potential termination from the LAPD.
Verduzco remains in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, and it was reported that he will still receive his paychecks from the department while awaiting a decision on further punitive measures.
If you or someone you love is suspected of DUI, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.