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Driver in double-fatal Midway District crash pleads not guilty to DUI vehicular manslaughter

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(File)

Edgar Jesus Suarez, 33, is accused in the deaths of Ahmed Alrawi, 23, and his grandmother Suad Alsamarai, 81.

A man accused of driving drunk and without a license when his pickup hit a median, went airborne and crashed into a minivan at a Midway District intersection, killing two people, pleaded not guilty May 11 to charges including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Edgar Jesus Suarez, 33, is accused in the deaths of Ahmed Alrawi, 23, and his grandmother Suad Alsamarai, 81. Both were El Cajon residents.

Two other people in their vehicle, the 21-year-old driver and a 46-year-old passenger, were seriously injured in the May 7 crash.

San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright said Suarez could face nearly 15 years in state prison if convicted of all charges in Superior Court.

Bright alleged that Suarez was driving 70-80 mph around the time of the crash and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.16 percent three hours later.

The prosecutor also said Suarez has never had a driver’s license and has a previous conviction for driving without a license.

According to San Diego police, Suarez was speeding west on Sports Arena Boulevard around 9 p.m. when his 1999 Toyota Tacoma hit a raised median at Rosecrans Street.

The truck went into the air before it landed on top of the victims’ 2015 Toyota Sienna, which was stopped at a red light on northbound Rosecrans, police said. Alrawi and Alsamarai died at the scene.

Suarez was hospitalized with serious injuries but was released from the hospital May 9 and booked into county jail, where he was being held without bail.


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