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Bail set at $1 million for man facing charges in crash death of 2 women, unborn child

Reports: Drunken driver traveling 104.7 mph before crashing into car
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 10:20 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 7, 2022 at 1:16 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Bond was set for 10% of $1 million Thursday for the man Omaha Police say killed two women, one of them pregnant, when he crashed into their vehicle late Thursday traveling faster than 100 miles per hour while driving drunk.

Zachary Paulison, 22, made his first appearance in court on Thursday. He was booked Wednesday into Sarpy County Jail on two counts of DUI motor vehicle homicide, Class 2A felonies; and one count of death of an unborn child, a Class 3A felony that could carry a sentence of up to three years.

“This is a primary example of one of the worst scenarios when you drive drunk,” Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said Thursday. “How many times does this have to happen before people change their behavior?”

Court documents filed Wednesday show that Paulison left Addy’s bar — where a bartender offered to call him a ride — five minutes before the crash in a 2017 Ford F-250 pickup and had been on the road three minutes reaching a maximum speed of 104.7 miles per hour and was traveling 102.3 miles per hour when the crash happened at 10:57 p.m. Thursday, March 31 at 192nd and F streets. Crash investigators found no indicators of braking before hitting the 2018 Nissan Altima, records state.

Sara Zimmerman, 37, a corrections officer at the Douglas County Jail who was eight months pregnant, and Amanda Schook, 38, both of Gretna, were died at the crash scene. Friends and family remembered both victims at a vigil over the weekend.

At 11:26 p.m. that night, a blood draw indicated Paulison had a 0.161 blood-alcohol content, while another draw a few hours later at 1:53 a.m. registered a 0.085 blood-alcohol content, records state. He was taken to a hospital with serious injuries after the crash.

Investigators found that Paulison had several drinks over the course of two hours at The Mark before heading to Addy’s at 7:27 p.m. that evening. He also tested positive for cannabinoids, court records state.

Omaha Police took over the investigation of the crash from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office in part because of a personal relationship the suspect has with a deputy.

Reporter Brian Mastre and Digital Director Gina Dvorak contributed to this story.

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