No motor vehicle homicide charge in Blackstone pedestrian fatal

The Douglas County Attorney has determined that the state is unable to charge a man with motor vehicle homicide in the Dec. 4 death of a pedestrian.
Published: Feb. 2, 2022 at 3:54 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Douglas County Attorney has determined that the state is unable to charge a man with motor vehicle homicide in the Dec. 4 death of a pedestrian in the Blackstone District.

The victim, 20-year-old Kaitlyn Vanessen, died after being struck in traffic at 38th and Farnam streets.

County Attorney Don Kleine revealed Wednesday that an investigation found the driver, William Wright, was under the influence of alcohol and was speeding at the time. However, the investigation also revealed that Wright had a green light, and Vanessen was under the influence of alcohol when she walked against the signal.

Kleine said the state “remains unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that William Wright’s intoxication was the proximate cause of the death of Kaitlyn Vanessen. This proximate cause of death is an element required to obtain a conviction for motor vehicle homicide.”

The case will be referred to the Omaha City Prosecutor’s Office to consider charging Wright with DUI and any other traffic offenses.

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