BULLHEAD CITY – A local judge heard rival pleas for leniency and for maximum punishment during a Sept. 22 sentencing hearing involving a Bullhead City traffic fatality in which both drivers were impaired, one by alcohol and the other by marijuana.
Megan Jergens previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault charges associate with the July 15, 2021 traffic accident at the intersection of Lakeside Drive and Baseline Road.
The 28-year-old Bullhead City woman accepted responsibility and apologized for the two-vehicle collision that claimed the life of Lucia Mendoza, 20, Bullhead City and seriously injured her aunt.
“I am so deeply, profoundly and incredibly sorry,” Jergens offered to Mendoza’s family. “I hope one day you can forgive me.”
Her family members and friends described Jergens as an outstanding mother, a dedicated and reliable employee and a woman who helped make everyone’s life a little bit better.
Mendoza family members had a different take.
“I want this defendant to get the maximum prison and as much probation as possible,” Mendoza’s mom offered. “My daughter is gone forever. I want justice for my daughter Lucia.”
Mohave County Superior Court judge Derek Carlisle said the defendant bears responsibility for being legally intoxicated as reflected by her blood alcohol content and for driving slightly above the speed limit for the area where the crash occurred. Yet, he noted that Mendoza was driving impaired as well with blood analysis revealed marijuana consumption.
“We’re talking about two drivers that were impaired simultaneously,” Carlisle said. “This is not a case of one side taking all the blame.”
Judge Carlisle ordered that Jergens shall serve two years in the Arizona Department of Corrections, followed by four years on probation.
“Everyone in this courtroom is obviously very upset,” the judge said. “No one is going to be happy with my decision in this case.”