A 22-year-old woman convicted of driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a Lyft passenger vacationing in San Diego was sentenced to more than a decade behind bars Wednesday.
Prosecutors say Alondra Marquez, 22, slammed into the back of the ride-sharing service car at more than 100 mph on State Route 163 in March, killing 40-year-old Giao Pham and leaving his friend Andy Lynn with permanent brain damage.
Marquez pleaded guilty in August to causing the crash. She was sentenced to 13 years and 4 months in prison.
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More than a dozen people showed up to two court sessions to share impact statements on behalf of the victims. Some pressed the judge to give Marquez the maximum sentence.
Pham, a Bay Area man, and Lynn were in the backseat of the Lyft on their way to Pham’s hotel following a friend’s wedding.
Marquez drank more than three times the legal limit before she got behind the wheel, and plowed into the back of their Lyft car on State Route 163, north of Laurel Street.
"Let's not forget that she sentenced Giao to a death penalty,” said friend of the victims, Sarah Washington. “And I would also like to say that she sentenced Andy to a life of never getting to see his best friend Giao again."
Lynn now goes to rehab five times a week and needs help with basic tasks. He can no longer drive.
His little sister and primary caretaker told the judge that they both go to bed knowing his brain damage is not reversible.
Pham’s family says leniency in the drunk driver's sentence should be off the table.
"You're not remorseful,” Pham’s niece Jennifer Nguyen told Marquez. “March 23rd wasn't the first time you drank and drive, it's just the first time you got caught."