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Woman smiles on video after killing two in DUI crash

By Jimmy Adeel
|
May 3, 2023

Disturbing bodycam footage released over the weekend captured Stephanie Melgoza, an Illinois woman, smiling during a drunk-driving test just minutes after she fatally struck two people while driving under the influence.

Melgoza, 24, was sentenced to 14 years in prison last week for the deaths of Andrea Rosewicz, 43, and Paul Prowant, 55.

Crash Details and Sobriety Test

Melgoza struck and killed the victims on April 10 while they were crossing the street near Full Throttle bar in East Peoria.  At the time, Melgoza was a Bradley University student and was found to be three times over the legal alcohol limit.

She admitted to officers that she had consumed three vodka and water drinks and had cannabis in her purse.

Bodycam footage showed Melgoza manically smiling at the police officer while she giggled during a light test.

Despite the officer's reminders and her own attempts to brace herself, she continuously failed to stay still, all while wearing a broad smile.

Melgoza's Statements and Court Proceedings

Melgoza expressed shock at the incident, questioning why it would happen to her as a Bradley University student. She was only four weeks away from graduating at the time of the accident.

In court, she apologized for her actions, stating she has not had a drink since that day and planned never to drink again. She also expressed a desire to make a difference and warn others about the dangers of drinking.

The Night of the Accident

On the night of the accident, Melgoza began at Tavern 41 before heading to Full Throttle. She admitted to having marijuana in her possession but claimed she hadn't smoked any that night.

She recalled one of the victims walking out in front of her while driving and estimated her speed at 40 miles per hour when she hit Rosewicz and Prowant.

During her sobriety test, Melgoza registered a blood alcohol content of 0.26 and was immediately arrested.

Despite initially denying hitting both people, she was informed by the officer that her vehicle had struck and killed two individuals.

Inappropriate Behavior at the Hospital

At the emergency room, where she was treated for injuries sustained in the accident, Melgoza continued to exhibit inappropriate behavior.

She happily talked about a planned trip to Las Vegas and her intentions to drink there, prompting the officer to question if she hadn't had enough of drinking already.

Melgoza also expressed irritation when she thought the officer was using Snapchat without her and sang for him when it "got too quiet."

The Aftermath and Student Protests

Following the accident, students held a memorial for the two victims and protested against Melgoza being allowed to attend her graduation ceremony despite the charges she faced.

With the conclusion of the trial, Melgoza now faces 14 years in prison for her actions and the lives lost due to her reckless behavior.