DUI suspect in crash that killed teen faces judge

SAN DIEGO -- A man accused of driving drunk and causing a collision in Mira Mesa that killed a 19-year-old faced a judge Wednesday in court.

Christian Evangelista

Christian Evangelista

Christian Evangelista, 21, wrapped up his preliminary hearing Wednesday. Evangelista faces two felonies for allegedly driving drunk last summer, racing down a road in Mira Mesa and crashing head-on into another car.

“I remember the split second before and then afterwards I remember coming to…seeing that the windshield was broken and air bags were deployed,” said Anthony Coling Soto, a passenger in Evangelista’s car that night.

The details of those that survived last year’s crash remain fuzzy. Friends of Evangelista along with investigators took the stand in Evangelista’s preliminary hearing. Attorneys say Evangelista spent the night of Aug. 20 drinking with friends, and when they ran out of alcohol, the group decided to go to a 7-11 store to buy more.

According to attorneys, one of Evangelista's friends offered to drive to the store but the defendant got behind the wheel.

“Mr. Evangelista said that he was quote 'drunk' and hit her and her being Ms. Le," said SDPD Officer Stephen Rocha.

Tutum Le, 19, was the driver in the other car and died shortly after the crash.

On the stand, officers testified Evangelista admitted driving more than 50 mph in a 25-mph zone and running a stop sign.

“The vehicle was increasing speed so all the way up to half a second prior to this collision, the vehicle got up to 64 mph,” investigator Michael Edwards testified.

Since there were no eye witness, the real question is what happened after that: Did Evangelista broadside a car or did it pull out in front him?

Evangelista’s blood-alcohol level was double the legal limit.

He faces 15 years in prison if convicted. His next trial date is set for February.