DUI driver gets 20 years in OCC student's death

A Costa Mesa man on Friday received 20 years and four months in prison for killing an Orange Coast College student in a drunk-driving crash on Valentine's Day 2010.

Gustavo Adrian Vega, 24, was sentenced in Orange County Superior Court for killing Cara Lee, 20.

Vega had been convicted of murder, felony hit-and-run and felony possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) on June 30, according to court records.

According to prosecutors, Vega was driving drunk on Flower Street toward Sunflower Avenue about 2:30 a.m. Feb. 14, 2010, when he sped through a red light and his Toyota Tundra pickup crashed into a Toyota Corolla, killing Cara Lee.

Vega fled the scene and was later found by Costa Mesa police hiding in a nearby housing complex. He had a blood-alcohol content level of .17 — more than twice the legal limit — according to a news release from the Orange County district attorney's office.

Lee was an only child and a cancer survivor who beat out the disease when she was 17. At the time of her death, she was volunteering as a recreational youth leader for the city of Newport Beach and was attending college while pursuing a modeling career, according to prosecutors.

—Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World