Crime and Courts

‘I went through everything alone,' teen tells Oceanside man who killed family members in DUI crash

Mason Fish got 15 years for taking the lives of three relatives and injuring three others

NBC Universal, Inc.

In a Vista courtroom on Thursday, justice was served after five long years.

In 2019, three people were killed and three others — all from the same family — were injured in a car crash. The man responsible, Mason Fish, faced sentencing Thursday.

NBC 7 was there as both parties shared their grief.

“He is sentenced to 15 years in prison,” a judge read aloud.

Mason had pleaded guilty to several charges as the driver in that crash. His Toyota Tacoma truck broadsided a Mazda sedan at an Oceanside intersection.

Thirteen-year-old Kelly Velasco, who was a passenger in the car, read a victim impact statement to the court.

“Every single person in my family has been broken because of this car accident, especially me,” Kelly said.

“I forgive this young man’s mistake he made,” said another relative during a separate victim impact statement. "However, God and his divine justice can see that justice be done."

Kelly lost her mother, 40-year-old Petra Arango; her aunt Eloina Arango, 56; and 74-year-old grandmother Rufina Rodriguez; in the crash.

Kelly, along with her father and grandfather, survived.

“I went through everything alone," Kelly told the court, "every single day when people talk about their mom going with them to go prom-dress shopping, through everything, graduation — I didn’t have that person. Instead I would sit in my room and cry because his mistake made me lose a lot of people that were important to me."

Prosecutors allege Fish had multiple drugs in his system. Fish said, in his apology letter and during testimony in past hearings, that he was distraught over the death of his grandmother.

On Thursday, he apologized in person.

“I’m truly sorry from the bottom of my heart," Fish said. "I hope you can begin to heal. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I will carry the weight of your loss with me for the rest of my days."

“No matter what the sentence is, three lives were lost and will never be returned,” said the judge.

Fish was convicted of several counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence, DUI causing injury, drug possession and driving without a license.

Contact Us