Kayla "2 Drunk 2 Care" Mendoza Described as "Responsible" Before Fatal Crash
Just me & my weed tonight— Kaila Mendoza (@highimkaila) August 18, 2012
Marijuana was a defining aspect of Mendoza's ethos. Her first picture on Instagram shows a rolled blunt. She calls herself the "pothead princess," mentions the drug hundreds of times on Twitter, and, at times, used it to ingratiate herself with friends and lovers.
I can't wait til Adam is off of drug probation. I'm gna buy him a nice bong and an eighth for himself. Get high, babe!!— Kaila Mendoza (@highimkaila) August 8, 2012
Still, there was a certain sweetness about Mendoza that made her likable, those who know her say. "She's a great girl," says Jon, who declined to give his last name. "She was just cool to hang out with. I don't know how to describe it; she was just a really nice girl... It's ridiculous what's happened to her. It's so crazy."
At some point, according to her Facebook profile, she attended Broward College, though it's unclear whether she graduated. After leaving her job at MetroPCS, she took a sales rep job at a T-Mobile in Pembroke Pines. From there, she appeared to have led a quiet existence of smoking pot and working until last Saturday night.
At 1:45 a.m. Saturday night, four hours after tweeting "2 drunk 2 care," authorities say she pulled her Hyuandai Sonata onto the Sawgrass Expressway going the wrong way, and collided with a 2012 Toyota, killing both passengers inside.
"She is a young girl with a bright future ahead," one of her friends wrote New Times in an anonymous e-mail. "She might have used an illegal drug, but so does a large percentage of the world. She had control and self respect for herself."
The friend blames the bar for giving her alcohol that night. "How do you expect a young girl to do great when you have licensed bars giving alcohol to under-aged teens. She didn't have a choice when it came down to what happened that night."
"But if it's one thing I know is that she will never be the same mentally. She lost what nobody can ever return. And she will live with that the rest of her life. And that's the worst punishment you can ever give a young girl."
Mendoza remains in critical condition at Broward Health North, and court records show no charges have yet been filed against her, though authorities say they're investigating the Twitter account.
Send your story tips to the author, Terrence McCoy.