According to authorities, the suspect, 31-year-old Gregory Black, is charged with three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter for the deaths of 23-year-old Juvelyn Arroyo, 23-year-old Veronica Amezola, and 27-year-old Kimberly Izquierdo. Amezola and Izquierdo were sisters, and Arroyo was their best friend.
He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment at the Compton Courthouse on Tuesday and is due back in court next week, when a date will be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.
During a press conference, authorities said Black is a well-known local gang member from the area with a "checkered past" and an "extensive criminal history."
At the time of the crash, Black was out on probation for murder.
"Mr. Black is going to prison," said LAPD Detective Ryan Moreno. "He has an extensive criminal history. I'm 100% confident he's going to go to prison. This man should never come out and see the light of day."
Officials said Black was speeding in a white Mercedes-Benz Saturday morning, reaching a speed of close to 100 mph in a 35 mph area, and had run multiple red lights before t-boning the Uber at the intersection of South Vermont Avenue and West Century Boulevard.
There were five people in the Uber, including the 38-year-old female driver. Authorities said the force of impact during the crash was so great that the vehicle spun five times before eventually stopping at the curb.
Arroyo, Amezola and Izquierdo were all in the backseat of the car. They died at the scene.
The Uber driver and the fourth passenger were hospitalized after the crash and are recovering. Black was taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries after the crash, but was later arrested.
Family members said the group had attended a concert in South Los Angeles and were on their way home when the crash occurred.
"That scene was horrible to just see was around and see that many casualties... it looked like a bomb went off… then you learn that two of the victims were sisters… no family should ever have to go through that," Det. Moreno said.
Black is likely facing the maximum prison sentence on each count of vehicular manslaughter, Det. Moreno added, due to his criminal past. Each charge carries a sentence of 20 years to life.
The investigation remains ongoing and authorities are continuing to review surveillance videos of the crash and speak to witnesses, as well as evaluate DNA evidence. It is still unclear if drugs or alcohol factored into the collision.
Details on two additional fatal crashes in which speed played a factor were also discussed during the press conference.
The same night of the Uber crash, a similar incident occurred, Det. Moreno said. 17-year-old Josue Mendez Portillo was also killed by a driver who was speeding and ran a red light on Arlington Avenue. That driver was traveling between 80 and 90 mph when Portillo's car was t-boned. Portillo died at the scene, but a family friend who was a passenger in the car, survived. The suspect in this hit-and-run has not yet been arrested.
Wednesday night, one person was killed in a solo-vehicle crash also due to speeding, officials said. That person was speeding on La Brea when they also ran a red light and crashed.
"Speed is killing people in this city… it's out of control the amount of collisions we’re having on a daily basis because of speed - something has to be done," he added.
Black remains jailed in lieu of $4 million bail, according to jail records.
City News Service contributed to this report.