Stephanie Mendoza is a 23-year-old woman who was involved in a fatal car accident that killed two pedestrians in East Peoria, Illinois, on April 10, 2022. She was driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, and was speeding three times over the legal limit. She struck and killed Andrea Rosewicz, 43, and Paul Prowant, 55, who were trying to cross the street. She was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI, aggravated reckless driving, and unlawful possession of marijuana. She was sentenced to 14 years in prison on April 27, 2023.
The car accident caused a lot of outrage and grief in the community, especially among the students of Bradley University, where Mendoza was a senior. The students held a memorial for the victims and protested against Mendoza’s participation in the graduation ceremony. They also expressed their anger and disbelief at Mendoza’s lack of remorse and empathy. A viral video showed Mendoza laughing after learning that she had killed two people.
In this article, we will provide more details about the car accident, the victims, the perpetrator, and the legal consequences. We will also share some tips on how to prevent drunk driving and what to do if you are involved in a car accident.
The Car Accident: What Happened?
According to the police reports and eyewitness accounts, the car accident happened around 10:15 pm on April 10, 2022, on the 3300 block of North Main Street in East Peoria. Mendoza was driving her Dodge Dart southbound at a high speed when she hit Rosewicz and Prowant, who were walking northbound on the sidewalk. The impact threw them into the air and onto the pavement. They died instantly from blunt force trauma.
Mendoza did not stop or try to help the victims. She continued driving until she crashed into a parked car near Imperial Avenue. The police arrived at the scene and found Mendoza in her car with a small bag of marijuana, a smoking pipe, and an open bottle of Tito’s vodka. They also smelled alcohol on her breath and noticed that she was slurring her words and had bloodshot eyes. They performed a field sobriety test on her and found that she had a blood alcohol level of 0.24%, which is three times higher than the legal limit of 0.08%. They also tested her for marijuana and found traces of THC in her system.
The police arrested Mendoza and took her to the hospital for a medical evaluation. They then informed her that she had killed two people in the car accident. Instead of showing any regret or sorrow, Mendoza laughed and joked with the officers. She said things like “I’m going to jail for life” and “I’m so sorry for killing them”. She also asked if she could go home and take a shower.
The police were shocked and disgusted by Mendoza’s behavior. They recorded her statements and actions on their body cameras and dash cameras. The footage later became evidence in the court case against her.