A man was charged with murder in a suspected DUI wrong-way crash that killed another driver on the 405 Freeway in Bel-Air, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
Marco Abrego, 42, of Northridge faces one felony count each of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury, according to a news release from the DA’s office.
He also faces allegations of causing great bodily injury and/or death and refusing to submit to a chemical test.
Abrego pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday, according to the news release. He could get a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged.
California Highway Patrol said Abrego drove his Toyota Tacoma pickup truck the wrong way for about three miles on the northbound 405 Freeway before crashing head-on with a 2000 Jaguar S-Type, which then spun out of control and collided with a third vehicle early last Sunday.
The Jaguar’s driver, 43-year-old Joey Allen, was killed in the crash and the driver of the third vehicle was injured.
Abrego was treated at the scene before being arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
His bail has been set at $2.1 million, according to the DA’s office.
Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey described that Sunday as “a horrific night” on the streets, saying the department responded to 730 traffic incidents between sunset and sunrise. The crash that killed Allen was one of at least two fatal wrong-way crashes that day.
Another wrong-way crash was reported on the eastbound 210 Freeway in Monrovia just two hours after the collision Abrego is charged in. A woman headed west in the eastbound lanes of the freeway plowed head-on into a pickup truck and was pronounced dead at the scene.