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Case collapsed in crash that killed 5 near Mesquite

Case collapsed in crash that killed 5 near Mesquite

CREATED Jul 10, 2013

MOAPA, Nev. (AP) -- A criminal case has collapsed against a teenager accused of driving drunk and causing a crash in Nevada that killed five Southern California family members.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys said Wednesday that DNA evidence proves 18-year-old Jean Ervin Soriano wasn't driving the SUV that rear-ended a van carrying seven people to the Los Angeles area after an Easter weekend visit to a sick relative in Denver.

A justice of the peace dismissed charges.

Prosecutors say Soriano had a blood-alcohol percentage of 0.12, but the investigation later determined that he wasn't behind the wheel. Twenty-three-year-old Alfred Gomez, originally thought to be a passenger, was the driver. Nevada Highway Patrol investigators never drew blood from him because they thought he was a passenger.