A 27-year-old man was sentenced to four years Tuesday — half what prosecutors were seeking — for driving the wrong way on a Minneapolis interstate while drunk on tequila and causing a collision that killed two people in another vehicle.
The sentence from Hennepin County District Judge William Koch means Quoc T. Tran will serve roughly the first 2⅔ years in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Assistant County Attorney Gretchen Gray-Larson argued that Tran should be sentenced to four years each for the deaths of Diana Rojas Martinez, 18, and Christopher Bunay, 19, and serve the time consecutively for a total of eight years. Tran's lawyer argued for probation.
Along with the four-year term, Koch also sentenced Tran to five years' probation, community service and ordered him to attend a gathering of other crime victims.
Tran, of Osseo, pleaded guilty in August to two counts of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the wrong-way crash on Sept. 26, 2017, on eastbound Interstate 94 between Lowry and 26th Avenues N.
Rojas Martinez, who was driving, and Bunay were recent graduates of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minneapolis. A statement from the school soon after the crash described the two as "fierce friends [and] hardworking students."
Tran admitted that he had been to two downtown bars and drank 10 shots of tequila in roughly 90 minutes. Tran entered the freeway on a downtown exit ramp.
Tran's blood alcohol level was determined to be 0.13 percent, well above the legal limit for driving in Minnesota of .08.
He told authorities that he was hurrying home about 1:30 a.m. and didn't realize he was driving the wrong way.