In a horrifying incident, an Illinois college student took the lives of two innocent people while driving under the influence. The shocking part? Her callous reaction immediately after the accident. Instead of displaying any signs of remorse, she actually laughed during a field sobriety test conducted just minutes after the fatal crash. Stephanie Melgoza, a 24-year-old college student, was found to be three times over the legal limit, indicating an extremely high level of intoxication while operating a vehicle.
Following her trial, the Farmington student has been sentenced to a lengthy fourteen-year imprisonment for the deaths of Andrea Rosewicz, 43, from Avon, Ohio, and Paul Prowant, 55, from Seattle, Washington. Melgoza pleaded guilty to four felonies, including aggravated DUI and aggravated reckless driving, both of which occurred in February. In a plea bargain with prosecutors, four additional charges were dropped earlier this year.
The devastating DUI crash took place on April 10, 2022, near the Full Throttle bar in East Peoria, Illinois. Melgoza weaponized her car, striking down the pedestrians as they crossed the street.
During the field sobriety test administered to the then-Bradley University student, she failed miserably, confirming her state of intoxication far above the legal limit. In her interaction with the police officers, she confessed to consuming three vodka drinks and being in possession of cannabis found in her purse.
Recently, the police released body camera footage captured during the incident. In the video, Melgoza is seen giggling her way through the light field sobriety test, wearing a chillingly maniacal smile on her face. It becomes evident that she harbors no remorse for the lives she took due to her reckless driving.
Rather than following the officer’s instructions to move only her eyes, Melgoza continuously moves her entire head back and forth during the test. In response, the officer gently reminds her, “Just your eyes.” Ignoring the guidance, she admits, “It’s really hard” while attempting to steady her head by gripping her face, all the while maintaining an unnerving smile. Her repeated failures during the sobriety test are evident, further illustrating her lack of concern for the consequences of her actions.
On the day of her sentencing, Melgoza addressed the jury, expressing her remorse and commitment to change: “I have not consumed alcohol since that day, and I have no intentions of ever drinking again. I genuinely want to make a positive impact, raise awareness about the dangers associated with drinking, and prevent others from going down the same path. I deeply apologize for everything, and I swear I will never, under any circumstances, commit such a heinous act again.”
Recalling the events of the accident, Melgoza attempted to shift blame, claiming that one of her victims “walked out in front of me” and that her car was hit by the pedestrian, not the other way around. Denying responsibility, she added, “Someone said, ‘Oh, someone else is hit,’ and I said, ‘Oh my God, how did that happen?’ They came out of nowhere because I’m a safe driver.”