Broward County, FL- In honor of the anniversary of a fatal wrong-way crash on the Sawgrass Parkway, the families of Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio held a safety seminar to talk about the dangers of wrong-way crashes at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the school the slain girls attended before the tragic accident.
The parents of Catronio and Ferrante spoke with students warning them of the dangers of drinking and driving and texting and driving. Parents of the deceased girls had LED lights installed on the Sawgrass Parkway to stop wrong-way drivers and they plan to add more, WSVN reported. They are also fighting to have wrong-way signs installed on key areas of the Sawgrass Parkway to prevent these deadly accidents.
“2 Drunk 2 Care.” That’s what Kayla Mendez tweeted last November minutes before causing the wrong-way crash that killed Catronio and Ferrante. Mendez, who once took pride in calling herself the “Pothead Princess,” had been drinking heavily before getting in her car and driving home.
Mendoza, who was 20 at the time of the crash and had been out drinking with some coworkers earlier the night of the crash. When it was time to go home, Mendoza got into her car without a second thought.
In an interview with Inside Addition, Mendoza said she has no memory of the accident, stating that things just “went black.”
While she was blacked out, Mendoza entered the Sawgrass Parkway going the wrong way and slammed head on into the two girls at a high rate of speed. Catronio was killed instantly, but Ferrante managed to survive the initial impact only to succumb to her injuries a few days later.
“When I found out that not only did I get into an accident, but the two girls I got into an accident with had passed away, it just really made me wonder why I didn’t too,” Mendoza said tearfully in her interview.
Blood tests taken after the wreck showed Mendoza was twice the legal limit and police later charged her with a total of eight counts including DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and driving without a license causing death. Her trial is still pending.
As for the Tweet she sent, Mendoza said it was for her boyfriend who she had been arguing with the day of the accident.
“It did not mean, ‘I’m too drunk to care, I’m going to get in my car now and wherever the hell I end up, that’s it,’ No.” she said. “It was directed to my boyfriend. That’s the only person that it was for.”
The parents of the slain girls have filed wrongful death suits against Mendoza.
Drunken or drugged driving is, unfortunately, a mistake thousands of Floridians make every year. A DUI is a serious charge and causing a deadly or injurious accident is an even more serious. When a person makes this mistake, they need a talented DUI attorney working on their case.