REDWOOD CITY -- A Sunnyvale man was charged with vehicular manslaughter for killing a mother and her two sons while he was drunk and speeding away from a minor fender bender, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Denis Pereria Demacedo, 28, was on probation for a Santa Clara County misdemeanor drunken driving conviction when the crash happened Saturday, said deputy district attorney Joe Cannon at the suspect's first court appearance on the charges. Two hours after the collision that left a mother and her two sons dead a test purportedly showed Demacedo had a blood alcohol level of .18, or more than double the legal limit.

San Mateo County Superior Court Commissioner Kathleen McKenna ordered him held without bail and delayed Demacedo's full arraignment until Thursday. Demacedo, who is from Brazil, speaks Portuguese and no translator was available Tuesday.

According to Santa Clara County court records, he is serving a three-year probation for a 2010 misdemeanor DUI case in Sunnyvale.

Demacedo reportedly was driving about 60 mph west in the 100 block of Eastmoor Avenue on Saturday when his BMW slammed broadside into a small Toyota car making a U-turn in the street. The crash killed Daly City mother Josefa Osorio Acevedo, 50; and her sons Amado Osorio Acevedo, 23; and Josue Osorio, 15. The older son's girlfriend, a 20-year-old Daly City woman, was critically injured and remained hospitalized Tuesday, prosecutors said.


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By Tuesday morning, there was a large memorial to the family on the sidewalk in front of where the collision occurred. There were dozens of bouquets of flowers, candles, crosses and notes. One friend said Josue Osorio was a freshman at nearby Westmoor High School and that some of his friends planned to have a vigil at the site on Friday.

Attorney Alex Easterbrook, who represented Demacedo at Tuesday's court hearing, asked McKenna to bar TV cameras from future hearings. At least two news crews were in the courtroom for the brief court appearance. Easterbrook didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the case.

Demacedo had played soccer earlier Saturday and then spent "several hours" drinking at Cybelle's Pizza on Junipero Serra Boulevard in Daly City, Cannon said. As Demacedo drove away from the pizzeria he rear-ended a car on Eastmoor and then sped around the vehicle in order to get away, Assistant District Attorney Al Serrato said. No one was injured in the first, minor crash.

But as Demacedo drove off, the Osorio Acevedos were pulling out of a streetside parking spot on Eastmoor. They were part way through the U-turn when Demacedo's BMW hit the Toyota in his lane, said Serrato. The family members were going to see a movie the night of the crash.

Prosecutors charged Demacedo with three counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, two drunken driving counts and misdemeanor hit and run for the minor accident that preceded the fatal crash.

Daly City police initially identified the suspect as Denis Pereirade Macedo and arrested him on three counts of murder. Serrato said the DA's office opted against murder because key elements were missing from this case, like a prior conviction for the same crime.

"It requires us to show a callous, reckless disregard for life," he said. "We didn't have that level of evidence."

Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.