MARTINEZ -- A 20-year-old Brentwood woman was sentenced to six years in prison Friday for driving drunk the wrong way down a Lafayette highway and killing a Pittsburg father on his way to work.

Annelise McKay trembled and sobbed as she told the family of 51-year-old Alvaro Santos Cruz that she was a stupid kid on a self-destructive path and never anticipated that her actions would come at the cost of someone's life. She said she plans to use her experience to discourage others from drunken driving.

"I've been trying to figure out what I could say to you all, but there's nothing, there's no words I can read off a piece of paper to say how sorry I am," McKay said. "For the rest of my life, I will not allow anyone in my vicinity to make the same mistake I did."

McKay was driving with a .16 blood-alcohol level -- twice the legal limit -- on May 3 when, about 1:30 a.m., she drove the wrong direction on westbound Highway 24 and collided with Santos Cruz head-on near a central Lafayette onramp, deputy district attorney Adam Wilks said.

Santos Cruz was on his way to his job as a lead baker at a South San Francisco bakery and was pronounced dead at the scene.

McKay, who suffered minor injuries in the collision, was awaiting a preliminary hearing when on Friday she pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Members of Santos Cruz's large, close-knit family described him in court as a humble and devoted family man who worked two jobs for 20 years to provide for his wife and two sons. He never drank alcohol or smoked, believed in the law and had a strong Catholic faith, they said.


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"My dad was an amazing person," Joel Cruz said. "This broke my heart, broke my mother's heart, broke my brother's heart."

Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.