Courts & Law

Driver in fatal crash charged

THE ACCIDENT SCENE in Orange on July 9 (OPD photo).

An unlicensed 19-year-old driver who led Orange police on a brief police pursuit at more than 100 miles per hour before crashing and killing three passengers, including a 14-year-old girl and a 17-year-old boy, was charged Thursday with three felony counts of murder. Three teenage passengers were also ejected during the crash, but survived.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Azarie Dupree Fuller, 19, of Exeter, has also been charged with one felony count of evading while driving recklessly and causing death, three felony counts of child endangerment by a caretaker, one misdemeanor count for driving without a valid license, and an infraction for speeding more than 100 mph.

He faces a maximum sentence of 45 years to life plus 14 years if convicted on all counts. Fuller, who remains hospitalized, is scheduled to be arraigned on Aug. 4. His bail is set at $3,550,000.

On Saturday, July 9, at around 2:47 a.m., Fuller is accused of coming to a screeching halt in a Nissan Altima near the back of an Orange Police Department vehicle stopped in a turn lane of West Lincoln Avenue just west of Glassell Street. Two officers, including a police trainee, were inside the police car.

Fuller is accused of making a U-turn, turning his lights off, and driving more than 100 miles per hour with an Orange police officer and his trainee in pursuit. Less than a mile after the chase began, Fuller is accused of leaving the road and crashing into multiple poles. The Altima erupted into flames and all seven people in the vehicle, including Fuller, were ejected from the car.

Dayanara Rebolledo, 14, Dominic McGinley, 17, and Gustavo Castro, 26, were killed. Three other passengers, including two 14-year-olds and a 17-year-old, were injured in the crash, but survived.

Deputy District Attorney Brian Orue of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

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