A man accused of driving drunk and without a license when his pickup truck crashed into a minivan at a Midway-area intersection, killing two people, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Edgar Jesus Suarez, 33, is accused of the Saturday evening deaths of Ahmed Alrawi, 23, and 81-year-old Suad Alsamarai, both El Cajon residents. Two other people in the victims' vehicle, a 21-year-old driver and a 46-year-old passenger were also seriously injured.
The deceased victims were grandmother and grandson, according to Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright, who said Suarez faces nearly 15 years in state prison if convicted of all charges.
Suarez allegedly was driving between 70 and 80 mph around the time of the crash and had a .16 blood-alcohol content three hours after the crash, Bright alleged. The prosecutor also said Suarez has never had a driver's license and has a prior conviction for driving without a license.
According to San Diego Police Department Sgt. Victoria Houseman, Suarez was speeding on Sports Arena Boulevard at around 9 p.m. Saturday when his truck hit a raised median at Rosecrans Street and went airborne.
His truck then struck the victims' 2015 Toyota Sienna, killing Alrawi and Alsamarai, Houseman said. The victims' minivan was stopped at a red light when it was struck, according to Houseman.
Suarez was hospitalized with "serious injuries," but was released from the hospital on Monday and booked into the county jail.
Suarez remains held without bail.
San Diego police urged anyone with any information regarding the crash to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.