New Jersey

Woman Faces Charges in Fiery Head-on Crash That Killed Mom, Infant Son

The victims were inside an SUV traveling on English Creek Avenue just south of Buckingham Drive on Feb. 26, 2019, when the vehicle was struck by a Cadillac, investigators say

A woman who allegedly was under the influence of alcohol and drugs when she caused a fiery head-on crash that killed a mom and her infant son has been charged with aggravated manslaughter.

Atlantic County prosecutors say 66-year-old Nancy Cavanaugh is jailed pending a detention hearing scheduled for Monday. It's not known if she's retained an attorney.

Egg Harbor Crash Nancy Cavanaugh
NBC10 / Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office
Nancy Cavanaugh (inset) faces aggravated manslaughter charges in a Feb. 26, 2019, crash in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey. See Larger

Prosecutors say the Egg Harbor Township resident was speeding just past noon Feb. 26 when she allegedly crossed into an oncoming lane and struck a Kia Soul driven by 31-year-old Alisha Williams, who was traveling with her 10-month-old son, Amari.

Witnesses ran to Williams' overturned car and tried to get her and her son out of the vehicle, but they couldn't before it burst into flames.

Prosecutors say Cavanaugh had alcohol and Xanax (alprazolam) in her system when the crash occurred.

"This was a senseless tragic loss of a young mother and infant son, which could have easily been avoided," Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said in a news release. "There are too many examples of these tragedies that have cost us too many loved ones and friends by people who engage in reckless and irresponsible conduct by weaponizing their vehicles when they are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol."

CORRECTION (Oct. 17, 2019, 3:15 p.m. ET): This article was updated to reflect that prosecutors say Cavanaugh was under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs at the time of the crash.

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