Chilling bodycam footage released over the weekend shows an Illinois woman grinning and giggling during a field sobriety test mere minutes after she fatally mowed down two people in a drunken smash-up.
Stephanie Melgoza could be seen in the clip published by Law & Crime on Sunday being confronted by authorities after she struck and killed Andrea Rosewicz, 43, and Paul Prowant, 55, outside the Full Throttle bar in East Peoria.
The video shows Melgoza, who was three times over the legal blood-alcohol limit, smiling goofily and chuckling to herself as she struggles to follow a police officer’s instructions.
“I told you, it’s hard,” she protests as the officer tries to help her follow a light with her eyes at the scene of the April 10, 2022 crash.
“I’d rather do [the walking test],” she continues.
Melgoza, of Farmington, told the responding officers that she had three vodkas before driving, 25 News said. One officer noted that she smelled strongly of alcohol and exhibited slurred speech and red eyes.
Melgoza failed all the field sobriety tests.
Stephanie Melgoza smiled as she struggled with the basic sobriety test.Tazewell County Sheriffs Department
In bodycam footage from OSF St. Francis Hospital shortly after the crash, Melgoza – who was then a 23-year-old student at Bradley University – appears similarly oblivious to the seriousness of incident.
She spends several minutes singing and dancing on the exam table before asking the officer if she can get her car back in time to make it to class the next day.
“You’re going to jail, you don’t have a bond, you killed two people tonight. I don’t think you understand that,” the officer replies.
Melgoza was sentenced last week to 14 years in prison.Tazewell County Sheriffs Department
“Your car…it’s a crime scene, it killed two people tonight,” he continues, calling Melgoza “pathetic” for being so “careless.”
Due to student backlash in the wake of Melgoza’s crash, she was removed from the list of students permitted to walk at her graduation, though she was able to accept her diploma.
She was sentenced last week to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to four felonies, including two counts of aggravated DUI death, the Pekin Times reported.
During her sentencing hearing, Melgoza tearfully expressed remorse for her actions.
Melgoza asked repeatedly if she could use her car to go to school after the fatal accident.Tazewell County Sheriffs Department
“I’m so sorry for everything, and I will never, ever commit anything like that again,” she said.
“I have not drank since that day. I do not plan on drinking 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.”
Rosewicz’s sister implored the judge to impose the maximum 28-year penalty.
“There are no words that can even remotely come close to inflicting pain and suffering on you … that you have inflicted on me, our families, and Andrea’s friends,” she told Melgoza.
An officer called Melgoza’s attitude “pathetic.”Tazewell County Sheriffs Department
“The magnitude is unimaginable.”
The footage of Melgoza’s callous behavior was shared on the same day that bride Samantha Hutchinson, 34, was killed by an alleged drunk driver while leaving her wedding reception in South Carolina.
The driver in that crash, Jamie Komoroski, 25, is reportedly on suicide watch in jail.