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'2 Drunk 2 Care' Driver Gets 24 Years

Kayla Mendoza caused crash that killed 2
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2015 8:35 AM CDT
'2 Drunk 2 Care' Driver Gets 24 Years
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The 22-year-old woman who tweeted "2 Drunk 2 Care" shortly before causing a fatal crash in Florida in 2013 was sentenced yesterday to 24 years in prison, NBC Miami reports. "I don't remember deciding to drive that night, so I can't even tell you what was going through my mind when I made that decision," a tearful Kayla Mendoza, who pleaded guilty to two charges of DUI manslaughter in February, told the court. "I have no excuses for anything I've done, I just ask for forgiveness." Mendoza, then 20, drank two oversize margaritas at a bar after work, then drove her car the wrong way on an expressway, hitting another car head-on. The crash killed the driver of the second car, Kaitlyn Ferrante, and Ferrante's best friend Marisa Catronio, both 21.

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"How do you forgive someone who's ruined your life and family's lives forever?" Catronio's brother said in court. Ferrante's mom told Mendoza, "I had to make the choice to pull her off of life support, that's something a mother should never have to do." Both families asked the judge to give Mendoza the maximum 30-year sentence. Though she was only given 24 years, Mendoza—who also had traces of marijuana in her system and a blood alcohol level almost twice the legal limit at the time of the crash—will also serve six years of probation after she is released and will never be allowed to drive again. (The Sun-Sentinel notes that Mendoza never had a driver's license.) Mendoza has said that her now-infamous tweet was not about driving, but was directed at a boyfriend with whom she was upset, CBS Miami reports. (A similar story also ended in tragedy.)

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