A 38-year-old woman was driving 94 mph seconds before a collision at 90th and Maple Streets that killed two people, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Chinyere Nwuju also later tested positive for PCP, said Deputy Douglas County Attorney Ryan Lindberg.
Nwuju, of Omaha, was ordered held on $200,000 bail on two charges of manslaughter. If convicted, Nwuju could face a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Omaha police said Nwuju was driving a Dodge Nitro south on 90th Street about 9:10 p.m. last Wednesday when she ran the red light at the Maple Street intersection. The car collided with an eastbound 2002 Ram pickup truck.
The force of the collision split the Ram in half and killed two Omahans — 58-year-old Roberto Gonzalez and 56-year-old Annette North. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
The SUV then struck a 2017 Jeep Renegade at the intersection. The woman driving it was not injured.
Investigators looked at the Dodge Nitro’s computer and found that Nwuju had been pressing the accelerator pedal 100%, was traveling 94 mph and did not use the brakes before the collision, Lindberg said.
Officers suspected Nwuju was under the influence. When she was taken to the hospital, Lindberg said, her urine tested positive for PCP. She suffered serious injuries to her face and appeared in court Tuesday in a wheelchair.
Nwuju’s attorney, Assistant Douglas County Public Defender Brian Craig, said Nwuju recently had completed a four-month substance abuse program.
According to court records, Nwuju was approved for a mental health diversion program in May on a charge of criminal impersonation. The case was to remain pending until Nwuju successfully finished the diversion program.
Nwuju’s driver’s license is suspended, according to Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicle records. She had been ticketed on two occasions for driving with a suspended license.