‘Extra kindness, patience and love’, Omaha restaurant manager killed in crash with suspected drunk driver

A Facebook post from the Timber Creek Pizza Pub and Grill shows the love felt for Candice McDowell. “It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of our manager and friend, Candice McDowell. Our hearts and prayers go out to her four children and her family during this time.” McDowell’s working family are asking for kindness, patience and love as they grieve. . McDowell, 37, was driving home from work the day before Thanksgiving when a suspected drunk driver hit his car at the intersection of 144th and Harrison streets, according to the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office. “At the scene, McDowell was in fairly serious condition and was then pronounced dead at the hospital,” Sarpy County Chief Assistant District Attorney Bonnie Moore said. The driver of the other car, Ulises Pantoja, 24, and his passenger, Briana Felix-Gabriel, 23, both seriously injured and still hospitalized. Moore said they had non-life-threatening injuries. Pantoja was taken to Sarpy County Jail on Friday evening. He faces charges of motor vehicle homicide, willful reckless driving and impaired driving. Moore said investigators believe Pantoja was speeding and under the influence. McDowell. “There was an off-duty Omaha police officer who witnessed the accident and was there to help render assistance until further assistance was available,” Moore said. Moore said his office charged Pantoja with motor vehicle homicide. He will go to the Sarpy County Jail once released from the hospital. If convicted, Pantoja faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. McDowell’s family just buried Candice’s brother in Arizona last weekend. He died in a motorcycle accident. Friends set up a GoFundMe to help with McDowell’s funeral expenses and her children’s future.

A Facebook post from the Timber Creek Pizza Pub and Grill shows the love felt for Candice McDowell.

“It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the loss of our manager and friend, Candice McDowell. Our hearts and prayers go out to her four children and her family during this time..”

McDowell’s working family are asking for kindness, patience and love as they grieve.

McDowell, 37, was driving home from work the day before Thanksgiving when a suspected drunk driver hit his car at the intersection of 144th and Harrison streets, according to the Sarpy County Sheriff’s Office.

“At the scene, McDowell was in fairly serious condition and was then pronounced dead at the hospital,” Sarpy County Chief Assistant District Attorney Bonnie Moore said.

The driver of the other car, Ulises Pantoja, 24, and his passenger, Briana Felix-Gabriel, 23, were both seriously injured and still hospitalized. Moore said they had non-life-threatening injuries.

Pantoja was taken to Sarpy County Jail on Friday evening. He faces charges of motor vehicle homicide, willful reckless driving and impaired driving.

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Ulises Pantoja

Moore said investigators believe Pantoja was speeding and under the influence.

“His blood alcohol level was above the legal limit and he was driving recklessly, as evidenced by the accident and witnesses,” she said.

Witnesses include an Omaha police officer who Moore said stopped to help McDowell.

“There was an off-duty Omaha police officer who witnessed the accident and was there to help render assistance until further assistance was available,” Moore said.

Moore said his office charged Pantoja with motor vehicle homicide.

He will go to the Sarpy County Jail once released from the hospital.

If convicted, Pantoja faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

McDowell’s family just buried Candice’s brother in Arizona last weekend.

He died in a motorcycle accident.

Friends created a GoFundMe to help with McDowell’s funeral expenses and the future of his children.

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