Woman sentenced for killing teen in Miami crash after taking drugs

Catherine Capozzi to serve 19 years in state prison

(WPLG)

MIAMI – A South Florida woman accepted a plea deal and will serve 15 years in state prison for killing a 15-year-old boy in a crash while she was under the influence of Fentanyl and cocaine, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

Catherine Capozzi’s sentence will be followed by two years of community control and five years of reporting probation. She will also receive drug treatment after her release from prison at an inpatient facility.

The crash occurred on Sept. 18, 2019, in the southbound lanes of Interstate 95, near 95th Street in Miami.

According to authorities, Catherine Capozzi was in a borrowed Dodge Challenger and was driving recklessly on the highway, weaving in her lane and striking the median multiple times.

Other drivers called 911 as Capozzi continued to drive in the express lanes at a high rate of speed.

At the time, Maria Vasco Romero and her son, Joel Romero, were inside their car “stopped in the break-down lane,” prosecutors said.

Maria Vasco Romero and her son, Joel Romero. (WPLG)

Authorities said other drivers slowed down, but Capozzi accelerated and plowed into the victims’ car while traveling about 90 mph.

The Challenger then went across all lanes of traffic before crashing into a fence and trees on the side of the highway.

Prosecutors said Capozzi was disoriented and going in and out of consciousness when she was removed from the car. Witnesses said she was acting “like a zombie.”

First responders administered NARCAN to revive her from an opioid overdose, authorities said.

Toxicology tests later showed that Capozzi was under the influence of Fentanyl and cocaine at the time.

Romero was killed from the impact, while his mother was in a coma for several weeks.

Prosecutors said she continues to suffer from physical and emotional trauma from the crash.

In September 2020, she told Local 10 News that the then 60-year-old Capozzi had moved into her Sunny Isles Beach neighborhood.

“As much as I didn’t want to confront her — my emotions. I honestly feel like she doesn’t realize the severity of what she’s done,” Vasco Romero said.


About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.