Opening statements begin in trial of man accused of killing Miami Heat dancer

Mario Careaga charged with DUI manslaughter in 2010 crash that killed Nancy Lopez-Ruiz

By Neki Mohan - Anchor/Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Opening statements began Tuesday in the DUI manslaughter trial of a man accused of causing a crash that killed a 22-year-old Miami Heat dancer in 2010.

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

Police said Careaga had a blood-alcohol level that was above the legal limit of .08 percent when his Mercedes Benz struck the motorcycle that Lopez-Ruiz had been riding on Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

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

Her parents, Adela and Armando Lopez, were in court as jury selection began Monday. They said they have been waiting three-and-a-half years and plan to be there throughout the trial, which is expected to last several days.

"We are suffering," said Adela Lopez as she walked into the Broward County courthouse. "This is a long journey and it will be for the rest of our lives."

For Adela and Armando Lopez, the pain of losing their daughter never goes away.

"I miss everything about her like any mother would," said Adela Lopez. "Every child is your life."

Police said Careaga told them he had two vodka drinks the night of the crash after leaving an event at the Galleria in Fort Lauderdale. Prosecutors are expected to show surveillance video taken that night.

Copyright 2014 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.