Parents killed in date-night car crash

FARMINGTON HILLS, MI – The local community is mourning the death of a Michigan couple, parents to six children, who lost their lives in a horrific car crash early on January 6 when their SUV was hit head-on by a suspect fleeing the police at high speed.

Ryan Ambrosio, 45, and his wife Jen, 43, were on their way home from a date night when Angel Melendez-Ortiz, 35, driving a stolen pickup truck, crashed into their GMC Terrain, killing the couple instantly. Melendez-Ortiz was fleeing from police, driving the truck off the freeway at more than 100 mph. He then turned off the headlights, made a U-turn and drove in the wrong direction on the northbound lanes.

The tragic death of the parents has left their six children, aged between 2 and 9, orphaned. Melendez-Ortiz, along with his passenger, a 29-year-old Detroit woman, were rushed to the hospital with serious injuries.

Late last week, Melendez-Ortiz faced multiple charges, including two counts of second-degree murder, first-degree fleeing and eluding police causing death, reckless driving causing death, and driving a vehicle while using a suspended license.

Generous donations from the community are helping the Ambrosio children navigate this shocking loss, with a GoFundMe page raising more than $612,000 by Tuesday morning. The organizers reassured supporters that the kids are being cared for by a large extended family, providing a safe and loving home.

Melendez-Ortiz has since pleaded not guilty, with a cash bond of $1.5 million set for his release. His case is due back in court on January 24. Prosecutors regard this case as unique due to the “elements of intentionality” displayed by Melendez-Ortiz, hinting at a rare scenario where a driver is charged with murder after a fatal crash.