SAN DIEGO — A judge heard evidence Tuesday against a Marine who allegedly drove the wrong way on a freeway in May and plowed into a car of University of California, San Diego medical students, killing two.
The judge determined the case would go to trial.
Marine Jason King appeared in court supported by a neck and back brace. His best friend Hannah Talbott was with him last month at a Mission Valley Bar, minutes before prosecutors say he got in his truck.
“I told him we should go back to my apartment. He was in no condition to drive,” said Talbott.
In Cahoot’s bar manager Gary Martin said he tried convincing King to not get behind the wheel.
“I made the comment, ‘why don’t you let us get you a ride home? Could you get a Lyft or Uber or something like that?'” Martin said. “He was very insistent on driving. To me it felt like he was more interested in leaving than listening.”
Prosectors said King left the Mission Valley bar, went the wrong way on state Route 16 and crashed into a Toyota Prius carrying five UCSD medical students. Madison Cornwell, 23, and 24-year-old Anne Baldock died. Three others including Stosh Ozog were injured.
“My vertebral bodies crashed into each other, smacked into each other and fractured,” Ozog said.
King’s blood alcohol level was above the legal limit the night of the crash, according to prosecutors.
“He had a very strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath,” said CHP officer Matthew Cavataio.
King faces 47 years to life in prison if convicted. His bail has been set at $3 million and he returns to court July 8.