Fatal crash in Sarpy County ends with one arrested, two seriously injured

Published: Nov. 25, 2021 at 3:18 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office Crash Response Unit and South Metro Crash Response Team are in an ongoing investigation of a fatal crash Wednesday night.

Sarpy officials and Omaha Fire and Rescue arrived at the intersection of 144th Street and Harrison Street and emergency personnel found a 37-year-old woman, driver of a Mitsubishi Outlander unresponsive and in “extremely critical condition.” Officials say 37-year-old Candice McDowell succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead at Bergan Mercy.

An off-duty Omaha officer and a passerby were able to help until the medics arrived at the scene.

Ulises Pantoja, 24, was arrested for willful reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, and a felony count of motor vehicle homicide.

According to the release, it was discovered during the early investigation that McDowell was hit by a BMW driven by Pantoja. Officials say McDowell was heading east on Harrison and Pantoja was going south on 144th Street.

“Evidence taken at the scene shows Pantoja was driving in a willfully reckless manner prior to the crash and additionally, Pantoja was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.”

Pantoja and the 23-year-old passenger of the BMW were treated for non-life-threatening injuries that officials say were serious.

Our sympathy and thoughts are with the family and loved ones of Ms. McDowell. We also remind citizens to travel safely and have a designated driver; especially during the holiday season to avoid tragedies such as this.

Sarpy County Sheriff's Office

Sarpy County officials say no further information will be released because of “pending legal proceedings.”

Copyright 2021 WOWT. All rights reserved.