Trial ordered for man accused in fatal freeway crash in Miramar
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – An alleged drunken driver accused of causing a fiery high-speed freeway pileup that killed two men and seriously injured a woman on Interstate 15 was ordered today to stand trial on murder and other charges.
Jeffrey Brian Levi, 38, is accused of rear-ending a Toyota Corolla at more than 100 mph at about 11:45 p.m. Jan. 2, 2018, in the fast lane of northbound Interstate 15 near Miramar Road. Levi allegedly walked away from the crash scene unscathed, leaving the disabled Corolla on the roadway.
A short time later, a Ford Explorer driven by an off-duty San Diego police sergeant then struck the Corolla, which burst into flames. The Corolla’s driver, 33-year-old Jesus David Dominguez and one of its passengers, 19-year-old Isaac Felix, died at the scene.
A third victim who was also inside the Corolla, Giovanna Dominguez, suffered broken bones and burns across her body.
The deceased victims were her older brother and boyfriend.
The Ford Explorer overturned, coming to rest upside down. The off-duty police officer was treated for minor to moderately serious injuries.
During a preliminary hearing this week, Giovanna Dominguez testified that none of the Corolla’s occupants were injured following the first crash, but with the car disabled and other vehicles swerving around the wreck, she feared they would “get hit again.”
She said her brother and Felix remained strapped into their seats while trying to contact authorities, but Dominguez undid her seat belt because she wanted to get out of the car.
The second crash occurred as soon as a minute later, sparking a fire that engulfed the Corolla, and left her brother and boyfriend trapped in the burning wreckage.
“I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do,” Dominguez testified through tears. “I jumped to the front seat. It was just so hot in there and I couldn’t get out.”
After kicking the front passenger door in an attempt to escape the flames, bystanders were able to pull her out, she said.
Levi was caught 15 minutes after the crash walking toward his home. The defendant’s blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.16 to 0.17 percent, twice the legal limit for driving, three hours after the collision, according to the prosecution.
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.
Levi, who faces 40 years to life in prison if convicted, is charged with second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit-and-run causing death and DUI causing injury.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 14.