A man drove drunk and killed two teenagers — today he addressed the family and got his sentence

“I see the pain that I have caused."

Susie Jones
October 30, 2018 - 2:42 pm

A man who admitted to drinking before he drove the wrong way on Interstate 94 and hit a car head-on, killing two teenagers, addressed the family of the victims during his sentencing hearing on Tuesday.

Quoc Tran, 27, of Osseo, wore black pants, a black shirt, and has a tattoo on his neck.  He said he has been haunted daily since the accident, which killed 18-year-old Diana Rojas-Martinez, and her friend 19-year-old Christopher Bunay on Sept. 26, 2017.

Tran pled guilty in August and admitted to drinking several shots of tequila in a short amount of time before he left a bar on Sept. 26, 2017. Then as he left downtown Minneapolis at around 1:34 a.m., he drove down an exit ramp, rather than an entrance ramp. At Lowry Avenue, he struck a car head-on, killing the driver, Rojas-Martinez and her passenger, Bunay.

"I'm sorry. I cannot imagine your grief," he told the court as he wept. “I see the pain that I have caused, and I wish I could take everything back. If I could trade places with you, I'd do it in a heartbeat."

Tran has been through treatment and is sober now.

A judge sentenced him to four years in prison, and five years probation for two counts of criminal vehicular homicide.

The courtroom was packed during the sentencing hearing. On one side, sat the family of the teenagers killed.  They wore yellow tee shirts, with a photo of Diana Rojas-Martinez, that read “My Little Sunflower.” On the other side of the courtroom sat Tran’s family, many of them wiping away tears as the proceeding got underway.

The family of Rojas-Martinez spoke about her and how her life was cut short.  Her sister said she didn't want to believe Diana was dead.

"This was a reality I had to face up to once I had seen her cold, pale, lifeless body in the funeral home," she said.

The parents of Rojas-Martinez and Bunay said the two had bright futures, and they were not happy with the sentence of just four years in prison.

Tran's family also spoke on his behalf.

His uncle said that Quoc, whom he calls Michael, had a tough upbringing and that his mother abandoned him.  He also said that it was completely out of character for Tran to drink and drive.

If Tran violates any terms of probation, he faces another four years in prison.