A 20-year-old man suspected of driving drunk when he ran down a beloved Long Beach family on Halloween night allegedly told an officer that he consumed four-to-five shots of Jack Daniels whiskey prior to getting behind the wheel of his SUV, according to court documents.
Carlo Adrian Navarro of Long Beach faces three counts of murder and three counts of vehicular manslaughter as a result of the crash near Los Cerritos Park. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in November.
Joseph Awaida, 30, Raihan Dakhil, 32, and their son Omar Awaida, 3, were struck when Navarro failed to negotiate a turn and hopped up onto the sidewalk where they were walking. All three died as a result of the crash, authorities said.
Police filed a search warrant on Nov. 25 asking a judge for permission to search Navarro’s vehicle, cell phone and wallet as they continue building their case against him.
After the crash, Navarro admitted to an officer, “I was drunk and driving and I hit someone,” police wrote in their request for a search warrant. He allegedly told police he was on his way to Los Cerritos Park to gather with friends and continue drinking.
Navarro said he did not know how fast he was driving when he hit the family, but a detective gleaned from surveillance video that Navarro was traveling at a minimum of 71 miles an hour when he failed to negotiate a turn at Country Club Drive and Los Cerritos Park Place, the search warrant alleges.
Joseph Awaida died the night of the crash. Omar Awaida died Nov. 2 and Dakhil died Nov. 3, police said.
The family was heading back to their condo after visiting with family members, said Cecilia Ramos, Joseph Awaida’s aunt. The family lived on the other side of the park from Ramos’s home.
She said last month the deaths have taken their toll on the family and the community and the family wants to make sure justice is served.
Joseph Awaida worked for a family-owned business, Joe’s Auto Center, and Dakhil was an intern with the Long Beach Unified School District.
A pair of candlelight vigils, at Cal State Long Beach and Los Cerritos Park, brought out hundreds of supporters to honor their memory.
Navarro’s attorney, Bryan Schroeder, said last month that Navarro attempted to render aid following the collision and was more concerned about the family’s well-being than his own.
His blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.11 three hours after the crash, Schroeder said.
Schroeder was not immediately available for comment regarding the contents of the search warrant.