Court Updates: Maria Perez-Marquez

The Omaha, Neb., woman who was involved in a head-on collision in November 2017 on U.S. Highway 75, that killed three members of a Sabetha family appeared for a court hearing via video Friday, Aug. 31.

When Maria Perez-Marquez, 49, appeared in court last week, she was appointed an attorney and scheduled for a non-evidentiary preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 13.

She was arrested Thursday, Aug. 23, in Omaha on a Jackson County warrant for three felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and two felony counts of aggravated battery, as well as a misdemeanor count of reckless driving.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, Perez-Marquez was driving southbound on U.S. Highway 75 in a 2008 Chevrolet Equinox when she tried to pass another vehicle. At the same time, Carmen Ukele, 42, was northbound on U.S. Highway 75. Both drivers swerved to the shoulder of the highway to avoid colliding, but instead struck head-on.

C. Ukele and two passengers in her vehicle – 11-year-old Marlee Ukele and 62-year-old Stephen Ukele – were killed in the crash. Another passenger, Lee Ukele – husband of C. Ukele – was seriously injured in the wreck. Perez-Marquez and her passenger Rosalao Perez of St. Joseph, Mo., also were injured.

The Ukele family was returning home from Hutchinson after watching the Sabetha High School football team capture the 3A State Championship. C. and L. Ukele’s sons – Tanner and Carson – were members of the team.

Perez-Marquez was being held in the Jackson County Jail on a $10,000 cash or surety bond.

Heather Stewart295 Posts

Heather Stewart is a reporter for The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2015. She specializes in court and sports reporting, as well as photography. Heather is a 2011 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in psychology. She lives in Sabetha with her husband.

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