PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The man accused of killing a 25-year-old woman and four kids while driving under the influence made his first appearance in court Tuesday afternoon.
Twenty-seven-year-old Favian Garcia is charged with five counts of 1st-degree manslaughter, driving with a suspended license, felony driving under the influence and reckless driving.
Police said the SUV he was driving was in the wrong lane when it hit another car head-on along Highway 99E just north of Salem. According to court documents, Garcia’s blood alcohol content was .318%, nearly 4 times the legal limit.
The impact killed everyone in the white sedan — including the driver Lizette Medrano-Perez, her two boys 8-year-old Ivan Ricardo and 6-year-old Andrus, her daughter 4-year-old Dayanara and her 2-year-old niece Angelina.
Family members and friends of the victims made the drive from Molalla to Marion County to see Garcia face a judge.
Principal Frank Luzaich of Molalla Elementary School — where the two boys were in 1st and 3rd grade — joined the family Tuesday.
“These are our kids and we miss them,” Luzaich said. “And our presence there, we may not have to do anything other than just sit behind the family and just let them know that they’re part of our family too.”
Luzaich said the school has set up care rooms with counselors for students with questions about losing their friends.
Maria Segoviano, a good friend of Medrano-Perez, was also in court to show her support for the family.
“It involves a family, so we’re still feeling it, very surreal, in shock. There’s a lot of anger going towards the other party and we know the other party had difficulties, but we’re really focusing on this family as a whole.”
Segoviano, who knew Medrano-Perez for more than 10 years, described her friend by saying, “one thing that comes to mind is that smile…that outgoing laughter that she kind of transmitted to her children.”
Garcia has had two previous DUII charges — both misdemeanors. The latest one was a little more than two months ago.
The probable cause document for Garcia’s arrest: