On April 19, in San Diego, 26-year-old Mario Castaneda-Carranza made a horrible decision that cost him the lives of his friends. He chose to operate his vehicle, a ’97 Nissan Sentra, under the influence of alcohol. It’s surprising he chose to drive inebriated, considering he has a previous DUI from 2007 on his lengthy criminal record.
Carranza was driving too fast – 70mph – on I-8 at 7:30am, when he swayed to the center divider, only to lose control of his vehicle when he tried to swerve back to the road. His ’97 Nissan plowed through a chain link fence and smashed into a concrete culvert, killing both of his friends; two 20 year olds, Carlos Kristopher Vargas and Monica Lupercio. The two had met recently and kindled a relationship – only to meet a tragic end due to the poor decision making skills of their friend behind the wheel.
Carranza will have plenty of time to mull over his actions, as he miraculously survived the crash. He was hurt during the impact, sustaining major injuries, and was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital. CHP officials have announced that Carranza is faced with multiple charges – felony DUI resulting in deaths, vehicular homicide involving alcohol, murder and his previous DUI conviction – which doesn’t help his case, either.
The family of Monica Lupercio informed NBC 7 of their intentions of contacting the family of Monica’s late boyfriend – Carlos Kristopher Vargas – to do a joint fundraiser for the two young adults that met a tragic end.
While Carranza is at fault for jeopardizing the lives of others, people in general should take the consumption of alcohol seriously. If a friend has been drinking, never get in a 4 ton metal death trap with them behind the wheel. Alcohol affects the brain and central nervous system, creating extremely crippling delays in the sensory-motor process. By respecting the affects of alcohol and making smart decisions, tragedies like this one can be avoided.
“Family ID’s Suspected DUI Crash Victims” – NBC 7, San Diego