Roberto Rodriguez, 20, was charged with drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter on Sunday. He was freed on $100,000 bail and apologized for the death of Giselle Mendoza.
“Sincerely, I’m sorry. It wasn’t my intention. Just, I'm sorry," Rodriguez told KNBC-TV.
Giselle, a sophomore at Palmdale High School, was asleep when the crash occurred shortly before 4 a.m. on Easter morning. That night friends and family held a candlelight vigil for her.
Sgt. David Sauer of the Los Angeles County sheriff's department said early test results appear to show Rodriguez, who may have been on his way home, was driving his SUV with a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit. Witnesses also said he was driving fast, possibly at 80 mph.
Rodriguez was scheduled for a court appearance Tuesday.
The apartment building has 11 units. About half the residents had to evacuate because of fuel leaking from the SUV.