Authorities say a driver was intoxicated and speeding when he crashed his car into a guardrail on the 10 Freeway in Santa Monica, killing himself and injuring his two teenage passengers. The drunk driving accident was one of the worst in the past month in the Los Angeles area.
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office identified the driver as 19-year-old Giovanny Soto of Bell. He was a resident of the city.
The accident happened around 1:30 a.m. Saturday near the McClure Tunnel. Police say Soto was speeding when he lost control and his car hit a guardrail and an embankment wall at the western end of the 10 Freeway.
According to police, the car then spun back onto the freeway, but in the wrong direction and caught fire. The driver was unable to escape the car in time. The flames engulfed him in the vehicle.
Moments later, an Audi traveling across the westbound lanes struck the Mustang and a Jeep Cherokee that was passing the collision scene, according to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Elizabeth Van Valkenburgh.
The drivers of the Audi and Jeep Cherokee were uninjured and declined medical treatment at the scene and otherwise.
Two male passengers inside the Mustang escaped the car as the Audi and Cherokee crashed into the wreckage. A 19-year-old passenger suffered a cut to his face, and a 16-year-old boy suffered minor cuts to his left hand.
Both were taken to a local hospital and treated for those minor injuries. They are expected to be released from said hospital shortly.
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