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Unlicensed driver gets nearly 15 years in prison for Midway crash that killed man and his grandmother

Court gavel
(File)

Edgar Suarez, 34, pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and other charges.

A man without a driver’s license whose pickup crashed into a family’s minivan at a Midway District intersection while he was driving drunk, killing a young man and his grandmother, was sentenced Sept. 21 to nearly 15 years in state prison.

Edgar Jesus Suarez, 34, pleaded guilty in San Diego County Superior Court to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and other charges stemming from the May 7 crash in which his pickup went airborne and landed on top of the minivan.

Ahmed Alrawi, 23, and Suad Alsamarai, 81, both of El Cajon, were killed in the crash. Alrawi’s mother and brother were injured.

Authorities released the names May 9 of a man and a woman killed when a pickup hit a Midway District median, went airborne and landed on the victims’ minivan.

Police said Suarez was speeding on Sports Arena Boulevard around 9 p.m. when his truck hit a raised median at Rosecrans Street and landed on the victims’ 2015 Toyota Sienna.

The minivan was stopped at a red light when it was struck, according to San Diego police Sgt. Victoria Houseman.

County Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright said Suarez was driving 70-80 mph around the time of the crash and had a blood-alcohol content of 0.16 percent three hours later.

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

Alrawi’s brother, Abdullah Alrawi, was behind the wheel of the minivan. He told Judge Daniel Goldstein that immediately after the crash, he tried in vain to rouse his brother.

“That day was the first day when I called his name he didn’t answer,” Abdullah Alrawi said.

Zainab Alazawi, Alrawi’s mother and Alsamarai’s daughter-in-law, said the family moved to California from Ohio to help fulfill her son’s dream of securing a job in the tech industry.

She told the judge that the family had been looking forward to her son’s upcoming graduation from college.

Goldstein imposed a 14-year, eight-month prison sentence, the maximum term allowed, citing the high speed and blood-alcohol content and the fact that Suarez was driving without a license.


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