LOS ANGELES (AP) — An off-duty Los Angeles police officer was charged Friday with murder in a fiery freeway crash that killed three members of a family.
Edgar Verduzco, 27, also was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence in connection with the Sept. 26 crash.
Verduzco appeared in court Friday but didn't enter a plea. The name of his attorney wasn't immediately known.
Police said Verduzco was speeding on Interstate 605 when he crashed into the back of two cars in Whittier, just east of Los Angeles.
One of the cars burst into flames, killing 60-year-old Mario Davila; his wife, 52-year-old Maribel Davila; and their 19-year-old son, Oscar Davila. A mother and infant child in the third car had minor injuries.
Family members have said that Mario and Maribel Davila had three other sons who weren't in the car when it crashed.
Los Angeles police say Verduzco was placed on leave following the crash. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
Police Chief Charlie Beck previously said Verduzco was an Army veteran who joined the force about two years before the crash.
"I cannot tell you how angry and disappointed I am that a Los Angeles police officer would disregard the law and cause an accident with such awful, awful consequences," Beck said in September.