Family of victims killed in deadly DUI crash face driver

EL CAJON, Calif. — Mario Carranza was drunk and on cocaine when he crashed his 1997 Nissan Sentra on Interstate 8 near Alpine in April of 2014.

His two passengers, Carlos Vargas and Monica Lupercio, died in the accident.

Carranza was found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder and other charges, including possession of drugs.

At his sentencing Thursday, he was given 30 years to life in prison and ordered to pay more than $10,000 in restitution.

The victims’ family members spoke before the sentencing.

“I don’t hate you, but you did something wrong. You have to pay for it. It’s not fair the rest of us are serving sentences, it’s not,” said Melinda Lupercio, Monica’s sister.

The judge also gave Carranza an opportunity to address the court.

At first, he only apologized to his mother, though later he did show remorse for his actions.

“l didn’t mean for it to happen. I wish I could take it all back. Please forgive me. I wish it was me instead of them,” said Carranza.

The judge in the case, Ronald F. Frazier, described the case and Carranza’s plight as “sadness.”