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Alan Mendoza sentenced to up to 4 years in DUI crash that killed 16-year-old Clarkstown North student

Rockland County man sentenced in DUI crash that killed 16-year-old
Rockland County man sentenced in DUI crash that killed 16-year-old 02:18

NEW CITY, N.Y. -- A young Rockland County man will pay the price for a terrible mistake that killed his friend.

Alan Mendoza drank alcohol and smoked marijuana before causing a crash that killed a 16-year-old.

CBS2's Tony Aiello was in court for Thursday's emotional sentencing.

The Mosyuk family, immigrants from Ukraine, are forever touched by tragedy. Vlad Mosyuk, a student at Clarkstown North, was killed in a terrible DUI crash in May of last year. His schoolmate, Mendoza, was under the influence of alcohol and pot while behind the wheel. He's 19 now, but treated as a youthful offender.

"I am responsible for his death and it is my fault his family will not be watching him graduate high school in a few weeks. It is my fault he will not grow up to be the great person we all know he would be," Mendoza said.

Mosyuk was killed just 12 days after a DUI crash claimed the life of a neighbor, Suffern student Jacqueline Zangrilli.

"A lesson wasn't learned," Assistant District Attorney Mike Dugandzic said.

The prosecutor told Judge Kevin Russo the back-to-back deaths devastated Rockland. Attorney Lou Valvo read a statement on behalf of Mosyuk's sister, Anastasia.

"I, along with my family, have to learn to live with that pain, all because of a selfish decision you made getting in that car. The ramifications of your actions is something I want you to be able to understand and be remorseful," Valvo said.

"It's not fair that I survived and he did not. I wish he had survived and I had not," Mendoza said.

Mendoza's remorse seemed genuine. He'll serve at least 1 1/3 years and up to 4 in state prison.

The sentencing comes at the start of what many call the "100 deadliest days" for crashes involving teen drivers -- Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Many Rockland families are remembering the two deaths in the span of two weeks last May, and reminding their teenagers to never get in the car with a driver under the influence.

A toxicology report revealed Mendoza had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time of the crash.

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