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Woman pleads to amended charges in fatal crash

(KNZA)--An Omaha, Nebraska woman, accused of killing three members of a Sabetha family and injuring two others in a 2017 Jackson County head-on collision, has entered into a plea agreement.

49-year-old Maria Perez-Marquez pleaded no contest during a hearing late last week in Jackson County District to three misdemeanor counts of vehicular homicide and one felony count of aggravated battery, canceling a May 1 jury trial that had been set in the case.

Sentencing was set for June 14.

Perez-Marquez had originally been charged with three felony counts of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of aggravated battery and one count of reckless driving.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says Perez-Marquez was driving a sport utility vehicle the evening of November 25, 2017 on U.S. 75 Highway, north of Netawaka, when she attempted to pass another vehicle, leading to the fatal crash.

Killed were Carmen Ukele, her daughter, Marlee, and brother-in-law, Stephen.  Carmen’s husband, Lee, was seriously injured.   Perez-Marquez was also injured, along with a passenger in her vehicle.

She remains free on bond.


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