Just moments before she crashed into and killed two young women on the Sawgrass Expressway, Kayla Maria Mendoza, 22, tweeted that she was “2 drunk 2 care.” She will be sentenced for her crime Monday.
Mendoza will face up to 30 years in prison when she stands before a judge on May 5. She has plead guilty to two counts of DUI manslaughter for the deaths of Nicole Ferrante, 21, and Marisa Catronio, 21. The young women were killed on November 17, 2013, when Ferrante’s Toyota Camry was struck by Mendoza’s Hyundai Sonata head-on.
Catronio was pronounced dead on the scene. Ferrante died at Broward Health North Medical Center four days after the accident. Mendoza broke both of her legs in the crash and suffered head injuries.
During her court appearance in February, Mendoza apologized to the victims’ families as she wiped tears from her eyes. At the time, Mendoza was confined to a wheelchair. Mendoza told the families, “It’s my fault. One mistake changed all of our lives, one stupid mistake, and I’m sorry.”
According to court records, Mendoza had been in a Coral Springs restaurant, drinking with co-workers.
At the time of the accident, Mendoza had a blood alcohol content of 0.15, close to twice the legal limit. There were also traces of marijuana in her system. Mendoza hit the young women head on because she was traveling east in the westbound lanes at more than 80 mph. She had been doing so for approximately seven miles before her ride came to an abrupt and deadly halt.
Each of the young women killed were the eldest of three siblings. Both were students at Palm Beach State College. Families of the two young women are waiting to see what punishment the judge will see fit to impose upon Mendoza, apology or no apology.
Drunk driving can severely impact the lives of people in a matter of seconds. One