Man Charged in Crash That Killed 2 Children in Bristol to Serve 15 Years

A Southington man who police said was drunk and speeding during the crash that killed two young Meriden children in Bristol in December has pleaded no contest to charges connected to the crash and accepted a deal that will put him in prison for 15 years.

Michael Luponio, 26, was charged in the Dec. 13 crash that killed 7-year-old Veronica Martinez and her 4-year-old sister, Ivette Martinez, agreed to a plea deal and he pleaded no contest on Tuesday. 

The agreement with the plea deal is that Luponio would be sentenced for 30 years, but will serve 15 years with a five-year probation.

NBC Connecticut reached out to his public defender, but the public defender was not immediately available.

Police said Luponio’s blood alcohol level was .24 percent, or three times the legal limit and authorities also said he was also speeding and did not have motor vehicle insurance.

Veronica and Ivette Martinez were in the car with their mother, Kayla Torres, a 31-year-old nurse, who was driving home after a late shift at work when Luponio crossed over the center line of Middle Street just after 12:30 a.m. and hit Torres' car, according to police and family members.

A family is grieving the loss of two young girls in a car crash in Bristol and the family still has questions about the deadly collision

The girls were pronounced dead shortly after being admitted to Bristol Hospital.

Family members said Wednesday that Kayla Torres has since moved out of state. 

Luponio was charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, three counts of second-degree assault with a motor vehicle, operating under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and having no insurance.

Bond has been set at $500,000 and Luponio had not posted it as of 11:49 a.m. 

He is due back in court on Dec. 15.

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