Nebraska woman accused of causing deadly crash following championship football game back in Kansas jail

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HOLTON, Kan. — A Nebraska woman accused of causing a wreck last year that killed three people from one family following a championship football game is now in jail in Kansas.

Jackson County, Kansas Sheriff Tim Morse said 49-year-old Maria De Jesus Perez-Marquez was captured in Nebraska earlier this week by U.S. Marshals for failing to appear in court on three counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of aggravated battery and reckless driving on October 11, 2018 in the Jackson County, Kansas Court.

The sheriff’s office requested the assistance from the U.S. Marshals to locate Perez-Marquez, who was arrested on a no bond district court warrant, waived extradition back to Kansas.

Deputies extradited Perez-Marquez back to the Jackson County, Kansas jail on Friday.

The Ukele family was headed home from watching their sons Tanner and Carson win the state championship with Sabetha High School’s football team when the crash happened.

The deadly November 2017 crash occurred when Perez-Marquez was driving a 2008 Equinox SUV southbound and tried to pass another southbound vehicle.  When she realized she wasn’t going to make it, she swerved onto the shoulder to avoid hitting the 2008 Town & Country minivan Carmen Ukele was driving north.

But Ukele also swerved onto the shoulder to avoid the SUV coming at her, and the two vehicles collided head-on. Both vehicles came to a rest on the shoulder  about a half-mile north of where U.S. 75 intersects with 318th Road, the Highway Patrol reported.

Ukele, her 11-year-old daughter Marlee Ukele and Marlee’s uncle Stephen Ukele died.

Perez-Marquez and her passenger, Rosalao G. Perez of St. Joseph, were airlifted to the University of Kansas Hospital. So was Carmen Ukele’s husband, Lee Ukele.

The boys were on the bus with the team.



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