BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Trembling voices pulsated a Kern County Superior courtroom Tuesday morning, as a mourning family took turns speaking behind the lectern.
The man sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for killing a mother and daughter in a DUI collision in 2017, sat quietly, several feet away.
Chad Sorensen who lost his wife, Raeleen Sorensen, 51, and his daughter Raegen, 19, recalled the despairing moment he told his son what happened.
"...when I walked up to him, I had to tell him they were gone," Sorensen muttered. "He just kept screaming no over and over again."
Raeleen and Raegen were traveling on Taft Highway near Buena Vista Road when investigators say then-34-year-old Vincent Moroyoqui collided head-on into their vehicle.
Moroyoqui was convicted on several felony charges including second-degree murder in April and was sentenced Tuesday morning to two consecutive life sentences.
Sorensen said he struggled to notify family and friends about the incident, including Raegen's soon-to-be fiancé.
"I asked that boy to pick out her coffin," Sorensen said. "Instead of putting a ring on her finger, having a white dress and carrying her across the threshold, he picked the... coffin she was in... he helped me carry her to her final resting place."
Within the last 15 years, Moroyoqui was convicted of two DUI charges and one "wet reckless" charge.
Moroyoqui also spoke.
"There are no words that I can say right now that say how truly sorry I am... I am truly sorry."
The Kern County District Attorney's office says Moroyoqui has to spend a minimum of 30 years in prison before a parol board may consider his first chance at parole.
Sorensen acknowledged that the tragedy also affects Moroyoqui's wife and children, but he wants Moroyoqui to reflect on one thing.
"You will get out and you're going to look up and you're going to feel the sun on your face and you're going to take a breath of freedom... I want you to remember that when you take that breath -- are my two girls -- who will never take another breath because their life ended on 7-20-17.