24-Year-Old Drunk Driver, Stephanie Melgoza, Receives 14-Year Prison Sentence After Killing Two Pedestrians; Bodycam Footage Shows Moments Following the Incident

On April 10, 2022 – roughly one year ago – 24-year-old Stephanie Melgoza was driving home after a night out with friends at a bar in East Peoria, Illinois when she hit two pedestrians with her vehicle. Both victims – Andrea Rosewicz, 43, of Avon, OH, and Paul Prowant, 55, of Seattle, WA – were killed.

Melgoza called 9-1-1 immediately after hitting the two pedestrians – though she was under the impression she only hit one person, at the time. Thanks to body cam footage from one of the police officers who arrived on the scene, we’re getting an up-close look at Melgoza’s ‘pathetic’ behavior following the crash.

The footage begins with Melgoza telling the officer she’s the one who called and made reference to the fact she went to Bradley University, a private university in Peoria, Illinois. She was asked to follow the officer to a police car and admitted to having marijuana on her person before being patted down.

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“I promise you, I only know one person got hit. They came out of nowhere. I am a safe driver,” slurring some of her words as she spoke to the officer. She later admitted to having ‘vodka and water’ at the bar and rated her level of drunkenness a 5 out of 10 – telling the officer she’s ‘aware of everything’ going on.

“Right now, If you had me do a test, I think I would pass. Don’t test me, but I think I would pass,” she said before undergoing a sobriety test. She very clearly failed the test as she struggled to keep her balance and couldn’t even hold her head straight as she attempted to follow the officer’s light with her eyes. 

After laughing through the sobriety test and failing to take it seriously, she was placed in handcuffs and taken to the hospital to get her foot looked at. The body cam footage shows the officer sitting in the exam room with Stephanie Melgoza for nearly 10 minutes – displaying poor behavior and a lack of remorse. 

During those 10 minutes, she was seen singing to herself, dancing while sitting on the examination table, and making unnecessary comments – such as when she’ll get her vehicle back (which was totaled) and whether she would be able to go to school tomorrow (not understanding she was on her way to prison).

Police Officer Scolds Stephanie Melgoza Over Her Behavior

At one point while sitting in the exam room, the police officer got fed up with her behavior. You want me to be honest with you? You’re going to jail. You don’t have a bond. You killed two people tonight. Your car is property of the police department, because it’s a crime scene,” he said after she asked about school. 

“You killed two people tonight. You are clueless with that, clearly, I’ve already explained this to you. So no, you’re not going to school tomorrow,” he continued – adding that she was being ‘completely careless’ on body cam footage and described her behavior as ‘sad and pathetic, and horrible all at the same time.’ 

While Stephanie Melgoza ended up graduating several weeks after the incident, she wasn’t allowed to walk with the students. More recently, she pled guilty to two counts of aggravated reckless driving and two counts of aggravated DUI death. At her recent hearing, she received a 14-year prison sentence.

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During her sentencing hearing, Stephanie Melgoza repeatedly apologized to the families of the victims and vowed to never act like that again or drink ever again. “I want to try to do something positive to make a difference, speak out about this and warn others about the dangers that come with drinking,” she said.

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