Fort Lauderdale, FL- From her wheel chair, Kyla Mendoza apologized to the families of the two women she killed in 2013 drunken driving accident. Her apology came after she made the surprising decision to plead guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter.
Mendoza, now 22, grabbed national headlines for tweeting “2 Drunk 2 Care” shortly before driving the wrong way on the Sawgrass Parkway in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area.
“I know this is long overdue, but I just want to tell you all how sorry I am,” Mendoza said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “If I could trade places with them, I would, but there’s nothing I could do to change it and I’m sorry.”
Mendoza, who once dubbed herself the “Pothead Princess,” surprised the court and reporters by pleading guilty to two charges of vehicular manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in jail, according to the Sun Sentinel.
In November or 2013, Mendoza was leaving a restaurant in Coral Springs where she has been drinking with coworkers. Her blood alcohol content was .015 when she plowed, head-on, into a car carrying Kaitlyn Ferrante, who was driving, and her friend Marisa Catronio. Medoza also has marijuana in her blood stream.
The impact of the collision killed Catronio instantly. Ferrante suffered a traumatic brain injury which she succumbed to a few days after the collision.
Mendoza also suffered serious injuries.
Following the accident, the Catronio and Ferrante families filed wrongful death suits against Mendoza and as the Sun Sentinel noted, her guilty plea will ensure she will be found liable in those civil suits.
This and accidents like it are the precise reason why DUI laws are so tough and getting tougher. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and when a person is caught doing they can expect to be aggressively prosecuted. That’s why all Florida DUI suspects need to contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible. There is a great deal at stake, like your freedom and driving privileges, so your attorney needs as much time as they can get to work on your defense.
Each year in the U.S., millions of people make the mistake of getting behind the wheel while they are intoxicated. If you have made this mistake, you need to expert legal representation working on your defense; don’t be fooled into thinking a DUI is a minor charge. A conviction can have long-lasting consequences that you may be battling for years to come. A DUI conviction can affect college admissions and your future employment prospects. You’ve already made one huge error in judgment, don’t make another and put your entire future in jeopardy.
Our team of Florida DUI attorneys will dedicate their time and energy to your case so you have a greater chance of avoiding a DUI conviction. If you have been charged with a DUI you need to contact a DUI attorney like Atkins & Fife LLC immediately.