Woman speaks out after DUI manslaughter conviction

PANAMA CITY – When she was 19 and carefree, Megan Thompson went to a party with her boyfriend, drank a few beers, took some Xanax and then drove home.

Thompson believes she passed out while driving and does not remember anything until the next morning. She was in the hospital and she knew something was wrong, but she didn’t know yet what had happened.

“I knew that I was in trouble because I had been drinking and I was underage,” Thompson said. “I was out driving my parent’s car and they had made it perfectly clear that drinking was not allowed and certainly drinking and driving was not allowed.”

But when her father came to her weeping, Thompson began to understand that this more than a little trouble. Thompson had been in a wreck, she learned, and she had killed two people.

That was March 2002, and instead of continuing her education at Gulf Coast Community College, in August 2002, Thompson was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

“At the time, I was very frustrated and very scared and very lost about what I had done and going to prison and dealing with all of the guilt,” Thompson said last week.

Thompson killed Michael Thul and Michael Lee, both 54. On the day of her sentencing, she apologized to the families of both men and she has spent countless days since trying to convince young people not to make the same mistakes.