Mario Careaga testifies in Miami Heat dancer death trial

Man accused of causing crash that killed Nancy Lopez-Ruiz says he only had 2 drinks

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A man accused of causing a crash that killed a 22-year-old Miami Heat dancer in 2010 testified in his own defense in his DUI manslaughter trial Monday.

Mario Careaga, 46, is charged in the Sept. 10, 2010, crash that killed Nancy Lopez-Ruiz.

Careaga testified that he only had two alcoholic drinks while attending an event at the Galleria in Fort Lauderdale earlier that evening, although surveillance video from stores at the mall show him walking around with a drink in his hand.

He also insisted that he had nothing to drink before the event.

Police said Careaga's blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the state legal limit of .08 percent.

Careaga testified that he was drinking a vodka and tonic, but he added that it was "a weak drink."

Lopez-Ruiz was about to begin her first season as a Miami Heat dancer when she was killed.

Careaga said he wasn't paying attention to what was in front of him because he was focused on the headlights that were fast approaching in his rear-view mirror.

"There's no question I was not (under the influence of alcohol)," Careaga said.

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