Nancy Cavanaugh

Nancy Cavanaugh, 66, of Egg Harbor Township, was travelling 18 miles an hour over the speed limit and under the influence of alcohol and Alprazolam, or Xanax, at the time of the accident on Feb. 26, according to the complaint. 

MAYS LANDING — The Egg Harbor Township woman who hit a car, causing it to flip and catch fire on English Creek Avenue in February has been charged, according to documents provided by the Atlantic County Superior Court.

The crash killed 31-year-old Aisha Williams and her 10-month-old son, Amari. Bystanders who rushed to the car could not get them out in time before the Kia Soul burst into flames.

Nancy Cavanaugh, 66, of Egg Harbor Township, was travelling 18 miles an hour over the speed limit and under the influence of alcohol and Alprazolam, or Xanax, at the time of the accident on Feb. 26, according to the complaint. 

According to an affidavit of probable cause, a reconstruction of the accident showed Cavanaugh was travelling southbound at 68 miles per hour — in a 50 mph zone — when she crossed into the opposite lane at about 12:14 p.m. and struck Williams' car head-on.

A responding officer said her eyes were bloodshot, her eyelids were drooping, and there was a strong smell of alcohol, according to the affidavit. She also admitted to drinking two shots of 99 Bananas schnapps in the ambulance before being transported to the hospital, according to the affidavit.

A law enforcement blood draw showed Cavanaugh's blood alcohol level was .075, according to the affidavit, and a blood draw at the hospital showed her blood alcohol level was .111. 

The police blood draw showed Alprazolam at 17 ng/ml, and the hospital blood draw showed the drug at 14 ng/ml.

A psychopharmacology expert quoted in the affidavit concluded that Cavanaugh had likely consumed more than her recommended dosage of Alprazolam, which is used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. 

"Psychomotor and cognitive impairment secondary to alcohol intoxication (alone or in combination with alprazolam) was a significant contributing factor to the double fatal crash," the expert said.

She is charged with two first degree counts of manslaughter, and is currently being held at the Atlantic County Justice Facility.

​Contact: 609-272-7260

cshaw@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressColtShaw

Staff Writer

I cover breaking news on the digital desk. I graduated from Temple University in Dec. 2017 and joined the Press in the fall of 2018. Previously, I freelanced, covering Pennsylvania state politics and criminal justice reform.

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