In 2013, then 20-year-old Karla Maria Mendoza got behind the wheel of a car while drunk. Not only did she make the decision to operate her vehicle while impaired, but she also sent out a text message reading, “2 Drunk 2 Care.” Only seconds after sending the text message, the young woman was involved in a fatal crash, killing two other young women.
And on May 6, 2015, the now 22-year old Mendoza was sentenced to 24 years in prison. While the prison sentence is certainly lengthy, victims’ family members told reporters that, “no sentence is going to be enough.”
How the Accident Happened
Here’s how the fatal crash occurred: Mendoza’s Hyundai Sonata took off, going the wrong direction on the Sawgrass Expressway, on November 16, 2013. Mendoza herself was operating the vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of almost twice the legal limit of .08 percent—at the scene of the accident, she blew a .15 percent.
The Sonata crashed headfirst into a vehicle carrying two young women: 21-year-old Marisa Caran Catronio, and her best friend, 21-year-old Kaitlyn Nicole Ferrante. Catronio was pronounced dead upon impact; Ferrante was rushed to the hospital where she later was taken off of life support, per the wishes of her parents.
Mendoza was also injured, but not seriously; she suffered from minor head injuries as well as breaks in both of her legs.
An Action that Forever Changed Three People’s Lives
The crash was the end of life for two innocent people; for the third, a court has sentenced her to a 24-year prison sentence. Her attorney, Will Anderson, said that the young women is likely to be close to 40 before she’s released, although an early release is possible if her case goes up for parole. Upon her release, she will face another six years of probation.
When to Hire a DWI Attorney
The laws regarding DUI and DWI are very similar in Texas as they are in Florida, and it’s likely that had the same accident occurred in Houston, a comparable penalty would have been ordered.
If you’ve been charged with a DWI or manslaughter DWI in Houston, it is absolutely critical that you seek legal help. If you don’t, you may spend the rest of your life behind bars, and your future may forever be jeopardized.
At the Hill Law Firm, we want to help you! Read about our services here. If you’ve been charged with a crime, don’t wait any longer to call us – we’re ready to meet with you today!