Alleged drunken driver pulled emergency brake while driving 85 mph in fatal crash, reports say

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The distraught 22-year-old admitted to drinking before getting behind the wheel and “acting stupid” in the crash that killed his brother-in-law.

Efrain Echevarria, 22, said he was driving at 85 mph when he pulled the emergency brake on his Honda Civic and lost control, according to his statement to California Highway Patrol officers contained in court documents.

His passenger, Victor Hugo Garay Jr., 30, died at the scene.

Echevarria has pleaded not guilty to charges including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the May 16 crash.

He told officers he drank eight Modelo beers and two shots of Patron tequila before crashing around 11 p.m. on southbound Highway 99, north of Palm Street.

“Due to his level of intoxication, Echevarria made an unsafe turning movement, causing the Honda to leave the roadway and collide with the embankment,” investigators wrote in the documents. “The force of the impact caused the Honda to overturn and come to rest blocking the No. 3 lane.”

Officers wrote Echevarria showed signs of impairment that included red and watery eyes, a flushed face and an odor of alcohol. Breath tests returned a blood-alcohol content of .08 and .09 percent, just above the legal driving limit.

Echevarria is next due in court June 27.

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