The driver, 18-year-old Eduardo Rojo, told investigators his brakes failed, and police believed mechanical failure to be the cause of the accident initially.
However, Rojo was arrested after police suspected he may have been high off inhaling a propellant cleaner. They released surveillance video that they say show him buying cans of Dust-Off at a Target store just before the accident happened.
Prosecutors are asking for further investigation by the South Gate Police Department before charges are filed.
The passenger in the black van is still in the run. He apparently jumped out of the van and fled while the driver was knocked out immediately after the accident.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call the South Gate Police Department at (323) 563-5400.
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