Wrong Way SignMiami, FL- Any car accident can be harmful, but wrong-way crashes prove to the one of the most dangerous, often resulting in one or more fatalities. On some occasions, wrong-way accidents are simple mistakes on the part of a driver, but more often these accidents are caused by intoxicated drivers.
This is a fact the families of Kaitlyn Ferrante and Marisa Catronio know firsthand and used the anniversary of the women’s deaths to warn young drivers of the dangers associated with drinking and driving and texting and driving, WSVN reported.
On the Monday, the one year anniversary of the fatal DUI accident that killed Ferrante and Catronio, their parents held a safety seminar at the women’s alma mater, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They took the opportunity to pass out red rubber bracelets that say “Stop Wrong Way Drivers,” and discussed the risky behaviors young drivers should avoid.
Last November, 20 year-old Kayla Mendoza was headed home after having few drinks with coworkers. The underage women entered the westbound lanes of the Sawgrass Parkway going on the wrong direction.Mendoza continued barreling down the highway until she struck the Ferrante and Catronio head-on.
Catronio was killed instantly, but Ferrante survived the initial impact which caused her to suffer a traumatic brain injury. She died of her injuries a few days later. Mendoza also suffered serious injuries.
While investigating the accident, police discovered that Mendoza was intoxicated and was nearly twice the legal limit. The self-proclaimed “Pothead Princess” was subsequently charged with the vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence and is still awaiting trial.
They can’t bring their daughters back, but Ferrante’s and Catronio’s parents are doing what they can save other families from having to deal with a similar tragedy.
The family successfully installed LED lights on some exits along the Sawgrass Parkway and plan to have more lights installed. The families are also trying to have plastic poles with “Wrong Way” printed on them installed along highway entrances.
Mike Russo of GridPro Systems explained to the WSVNh how these poles would work, “When a vehicle turns on the hoop, [it] triggers the sensor and these posts will deploy.”
Inattention and confusion often lead to wrong-way crashes, but the leading cause is intoxicated driving. In a 1989 study by the California Department of Transportation, researchers found that impaired or drunken drivers were involved in 59.4% of all wrong-way crashes, and a staggering 76.8% of fatal wrong-way crashes in the state from 1983 to 1987.
When wrong-way drivers notice their mistake they correct their direction as soon as possible. But drunken or intoxicated drivers aren’t capable of thinking that rationally and can potentially collide with another vehicle.

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