Man suspected of driving drunk charged with murder in fiery Vermont Knolls crash

VERMONT KNOLLS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A 30-year-old man suspected of driving drunk, smashing into a vehicle and killing three people in Vermont Knolls was charged with murder Tuesday.

Jose Manuel Garcia, of Los Angeles, was charged with three felony counts of murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

He has also been charged with one felony count each of driving under the influence of alcohol within 10 years of another DUI offense and driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury within 10 years of another DUI.

The charges include allegations of causing great bodily injury.

On Saturday, prosecutors said Garcia drove while drunk and ran a red light at the intersection of South Hoover and West 76th streets. He is suspected of crashing into a minivan that had a family of five inside who were traveling through the intersection.

The crash caused the van to burst into flames and three members of the family died. Those victims were identified as father Juan Reynoso, 34, and his daughter Emma Reynoso, 6, and 5-month-old son Sebastian Reynoso.

The children's mother survived and their sibling, 9-year-old Julian Reynoso, suffered major injuries.

Garcia, who is expected to appear in court Wednesday, faces a possible maximum sentence of 82 years to life in prison if convicted as charged. Prosecutors are recommending bail be set at $6 million.

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department's South Traffic Division.
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