SAN DIEGO -- A man accused of driving drunk and causing a fiery freeway pileup near Miramar that killed two people and injured two others faces 40 years to life in prison after being charged with murder Friday.
Jeffrey Brian Levi, 37, allegedly was traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph and swerving between vehicles on northbound Interstate 15 when his red 2015 Ford Mustang rear-ended a Toyota Corolla about 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Levi was charged with two counts of murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, two counts of driving under the influence and two counts of leaving the accident scene. At his arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright said Levi's blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit when he was tested after the crash. Levi also has a prior DUI conviction from 2007, she said.
The judge set Levi's bail at $2 million.
The collision near Miramar Road sent the Corolla spinning across the roadway before it skidded to a halt in the path of oncoming traffic, while the Mustang crashed off the side of the freeway and into a ravine. According to witnesses, Levi then got out of his crumpled car and walked away.
A gray Ford Explorer driven by an off-duty San Diego police sergeant, meanwhile, struck the Corolla, which burst into flames. The city-owned SUV overturned, coming to rest upside down.
Bystanders were able to rescue a woman inside the Corolla, but the other two occupants -- her brother and boyfriend -- were trapped and died in the burning wreckage. A GoFundMe page identified the three as David Dominguez, 33, Isaac Felix, 19, and Giovanna Dominguez, 18.
Paramedics took the young woman to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest for treatment of severe injuries and the police officer, whose name was not released, to Sharp Memorial Hospital with minor to moderately serious injuries, CHP public affairs Officer Jake Sanchez said.
Officers searching by ground and aboard a patrol helicopter tracked down Levi in a nearby residential area a short time later and took him into custody.
At the time of the crash, Felix, his girlfriend and her brother were on their way home to Riverside from Tijuana International Airport, where they had dropped off a family member, according a statement posted on the internet donation page.
“My brother didn’t deserve this. He was good -- never did drugs, never did alcohol. He put a smile on your face -- was full of life," said his sister, Selena Felix, after the arraignment.