Kayla Mendoza, Driver in Fatal Sawgrass Expressway Wrong-Way Wreck, Appears in Court

The driver in a wrong-way wreck that killed two young women made her first court appearance Tuesday, a day after she was arrested and charged in the crash

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Kayla Mendoza appeared in bond court Tuesday after she was arrested in the Nov. 17th crash that killed Marisa Catronio and Kaitlyn Ferrante. NBC 6's Claudia DoCampo reports. (Published Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014)

    The driver in a wrong-way wreck that killed two young women made her first court appearance Tuesday, a day after she was arrested and charged in the crash.

    Kayla Mendoza, 21, is facing DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and driving with a suspended license causing death charges in the Nov. 17th crash that killed Marisa Catronio and Kaitlyn Ferrante.

    Driver in Wrong-Way Wreck Kayla Mendoza Arrested

    [MI] Driver in Wrong-Way Wreck Kayla Mendoza Arrested
    Kayla Mendoza has been arrested on charges of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide after the Nov. 17 crash that claimed the lives of Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio. NBC 6's Keith Jones reports. (Published Monday, Apr 7, 2014)

    "It doesnt appear she's ever had a drivers license," Broward County Judge John Hurley said during the proceedings.

    Hurley granted Mendoza a $600,000 bond on the condition she remain on house arrest. While she only needs to pay 10 percent of that amound to be released, the judge stipulated she must show that she has the rest of the money available.

    Driver in Wrong-Way Wreck Arrested

    [MI] Driver in Wrong-Way Wreck Arrested
    A young woman involved in a fatal wrong-way wreck has been arrested, officials said Monday. Kayla Mendoza, 20-years-old at the time of the crash, was arrested in the Nov. 17th crash that killed Marisa Catronio and Kaitlyn Ferrante, both 21, confirmed the Florida Highway Patrol. NBC 6's Keith Jones reports. (Published Monday, Apr 7, 2014)

    Catronio's family was at the hearing Tuesday to see the young woman's alleged killer hear her charges for the first time.

    Families of 2 Sawgrass Expressway Wrong-Way Crash Victims Sue Driver, Car Owner

    [MI] Families of 2 Sawgrass Expressway Wrong-Way Crash Victims Sue Driver, Car Owner
    The families of Marisa Catronio and Kaitlyn Ferrante stood united Thursday afternoon to announce that they've filed a joint lawsuit against Kayla Mendoza and Federico Javier Reyes Santiago, the owner of the car Mendoza was driving the night she crashed into a car carrying Catronio and Ferrante. NBC 6's Laura Rodriguez reports. (Published Thursday, Dec 5, 2013)

    "It's tough, it's tough to see her and to realize that young lady took away all the vibrance of Marisa," Uncle Ron Catronio said.

    It was unknown whether Mendoza has an attorney.

    According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Mendoza, 20 years old at the time of the crash, was driving the wrong way on the Sawgrass Expressway in a 2004 Hyundai Sonata when she struck Ferrante's 2012 Toyota Camry.

    Catronio was pronounced dead at the scene, while Ferrante, her best friend, died at the hospital days later. Both Catronio and Ferrante were 21 at the time of the crash.

    Mendoza was taken to Broward Health North Hospital with serious injuries. She was wheeled to jail on a stretcher Monday, as injuries from the crash have left her in a wheelchair.

    Mendoza had a blood alcohol level of .15, almost twice Florida's legal limit of .08, in the first sample taken after the crash, according to an FHP search warrant. A second sample, taken approximately two and a half hours after the crash, showed Mendoza had a blood alcohol level of .10, the warrant said.

    According to the warrant, Mendoza had been drinking at a Coral Springs bar the night of the crash. A Twitter account believed to be associated with Mendoza posted "2 drunk 2 care" hours before the crash, the warrant said.

    The families of Catronio and Ferrante filed a joint lawsuit in December against Mendoza and the owner of the car she was driving at the time of the crash.

    Mendoza's trial date has not yet been set.