According to KXII, a December 2, 2022 crash claimed the life of Melanie Ward and left her husband in critical condition. The crash happened around 10:30 p.m. near the intersection of Choctaw Road and S. 9th Street, just behind the Choctaw Casino, when a drunk driver pulled out into oncoming traffic on S. 9th Street and struck the vehicle occupied by Melanie Ward and husband, Roberto Maldonado. Ms. Ward died at the scene and Mr. Maldonado was transported to the hospital for serious injuries sustained in the crash. The intoxicated driver, Bailey Lessly, was also transported to the hospital for serious injuries. Reports indicate that a warrant has been issued for her arrest charging her with First Degree Manslaughter. Her BAC was reported above the legal limit and bond was set at $250,000.