Kayla "2 Drunk 2 Care" Mendoza: No Charges Yet in Wrong-Way Crash | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Kayla "2 Drunk 2 Care" Mendoza: No Charges Yet in Wrong-Way Crash

The lives of three young women, all in their early 20s, unexpectedly intersected on the westbound lanes of the Sawgrass Expressway last November 17. Twenty-one-year-old best friends Marisa Catronio and Kaitlyn Ferrante were in a red Toyota heading west at 1:45 a.m. Meanwhile, 20-year-old Kayla Mendoza approached driving her boyfriend's white Hyundai at speeds up to 80 miles per hour, traveling east in the westbound lanes.

The young women collided a quarter mile from the University Drive exit in Coral Springs. The case drew worldwide attention when it was revealed that Mendoza had Tweeted "2 drunk 2 care" shortly before the collision.

Now, almost four months after that ill-fated night, Mendoza has still not been criminally charged.

See also: Alleged Killer Kayla Mendoza Tweets "2 Drunk 2 Care" Before Causing Horrific Accident

According to a Florida Highway Patrol search warrant, at 1:47 a.m. a 911 call informed FHP that a white Hyundai was traveling the wrong way on the Sawgrass Expressway. Two minutes later, FHP was advised that the wrong-way vehicle was involved in a fiery head-on collision. An FHP trooper arrived on the scene 21 minutes later, where the trooper noted that Catronio had died from her injuries in the passenger seat and that Ferrante was seriously injured in the driver's seat (she was airlifted to Broward Health North but succumbed to her injuries four days later). Mendoza was sprawled in the driver's seat of the Hyundai unconscious but breathing. Worried that his daughter Marisa had missed her 2 a.m. curfew, Gary Catronio tracked her cell phone to the exact location of the crash on the Sawgrass Expressway and arrived on the scene to experience every parent's worst nightmare.

At 3:23 a.m., an FHP trooper went to Room 17 of Broward Health North to collect blood samples from Mendoza. There, "[the trooper] observed Ms. Mendoza with serious injuries and unconscious at the time," the search warrant states. The blood drawn was taken approximately two and a half hours later, at 4:20 a.m. FHP homicide Investigator Linda Banks also learned that the hospital had obtained blood and urine samples within two hours of the crash for Mendoza's treatment.

Mendoza's toxicology report wasn't released until early January. It reveals that while Mendoza might've been "2 drunk 2 care," she was definitely too drunk to drive.

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jess Swanson is a staff writer at New Times. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami’s School of Communication and wrote briefly for the student newspaper until realizing her true calling: pissing off fraternity brothers by reporting about their parties on her crime blog. Especially gifted in jumping rope and solving Rubik’s cubes, she also holds the title for longest stint as an unpaid intern in New Times history. She left the Magic City for New York to earn her master’s degree from Columbia University School of Journalism, where she spent a year profiling circumcised men who were trying to regrow their foreskins for a story that ultimately won the John Horgan Award for Critical Science Journalism. Terrified by pizza rats and arctic temperatures, she quickly returned to her natural habitat.
Contact: Jess Swanson

Latest Stories