SAN DIEGO — A drunken driver who killed one person and injured two others heard from survivors and their families Tuesday in advance of learning her sentence.
Alondra Selena Marquez, 22, of San Diego, pleaded guilty last month to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury for the March 23 crash that killed 40-year-old San Francisco resident Giao Pham and severely injured Pham’s friend, Andy Lynn.
About 40 people showed up Tuesday to support the victims, and 13 of them spoke before the court in the sentencing phase of the trial. The first person to speak was a surviving victim who talked directly to Marquez, the woman responsible for killing his best friend and causing him live with a traumatic brain injury.
“I died that day, and must I accept this new reality,” Andrew Lynn said.
The crash happened March 23 on state Route 163 near Balboa Park. Investigators said Marquez was driving 100 mph when she slammed into the back of a LYFT ride-share vehicle. Pham died at the scene. Lynn survived the crash but was on life support and in a coma for over a week.
They were in San Diego to attend a wedding when the Lyft car they were riding in was struck from behind by Marquez’s car about 2:30 a.m. on SR 163 near Laurel Street.
Marquez and the victims had coincidentally been at the same tavern — Rich’s Bar in Hillcrest — on the night of the crash. While the victims opted to use a ridehailing service, Marquez rejected rides home from several friends in favor of getting behind the wheel, according to Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright.
A family friend who was supposed to be in that same LYFT car called Marquez a murderer.
“We did not know if Andy would wake up. But the thing I find the most morally disturbing is learning that the drunk driver was pretending to be brain dead as she lay three beds over from where Andy was not pretending,” the friend said.
Lynn and his sister Christine Lynn were raised in foster care. She talked about their struggles growing up and his role as her protector. All that changed with the accident, and now she is his guardian,.
“I’m having a difficult time accepting the new Andy. It’s been incredibly difficult to adjust to this new bother,” she said sobbing. “At the same time, (I’m) so filled with gratitude at how far he’s come.”
Marquez had a blood alcohol level of 0.19 at the time of the crash. That’s two times the legal limit.
She could be sentenced to up to 14 years in prison. The rest of the sentencing phase was continued until next week.