• Lynda Cohen

EHT woman charged in crash that killed mom, baby

Updated: Feb 10


An Egg Harbor Township woman has been arrested in a February crash that killed a mother and her infant son. Nancy Cavanaugh, 66, was intoxicated and speeding when she crossed into oncoming traffic on English Creek Avenue and struck a car driven by Alisha Williams, according to charges just filed against her. Cavanaugh is charged with two counts of aggravated manslaughter. Two men rushed to the overturned car containing Williams and her 10-month-old baby. But flames kept them from being able to save them. Williams, 31, and baby Amari died at the scene. At the scene, Cavanaugh smelled of alcohol and admitted to having two shots of an alcoholic beverage, 99 bananas, that morning, according to the affidavit obtained by BreakingAC. Her blood alcohol was .111 at the hospital, and .075 — just below the legal limit — when taken by law enforcement. “Her speech was slurred and her eyes were bloodshot and her eyelids drooping,” according to the report. At first, the woman told another officer she was on the wrong side of the road, but later said that maybe the other driver was.

A recreation of the crash showed that Cavanaugh was heading north at about 12:15 p.m. Feb. 26, when she crossed over into the oncoming traffic and struck Williams’ car head on. The speed limit there is 50 mph, but she was going about 68 mph, according to the report. Cavanaugh also had taken alprazolam — commonly known as Xanax — and it was “likely … more than her prescribed dosage,” a psychophamacology expert concluded. “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 found. Cavanaugh is currently in the Atlantic County Justice Facility. UPDATE: Cavanaugh was ordered held following a detention hearing.


Note: The Atlantic County Justice Facility no longer provides mugshots to the media, citing the Atlantic County prosecutor’s order. The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office says it’s part of the Attorney General’s Guidelines. There is no such guideline, according to the Attorney General’s Office, but they have told these offices for years that they should not release any photos that appear to be mugshots.

Alisha Williams and 10-month-old Amari died in the crash.

'Worst day of my life,’ says EHT man who tried to rescue mom, baby from fiery crash


“I tried everything,” Jim Stebbins said, the day after he tried saving a mother and baby from a fiery crash. “There just wasn’t enough time.” The woman and her 10-month-old son died at the scene in Egg Harbor Township in a fire Stebbins described as “fast and violent.” The investigation is ongoing. “Emotionally, I’m crushed,” said Stebbins, a father of four who was heading home at about 12:15 p.m., when the crash happened. “Worst day of my life.” The 37-year-old township man had just turned onto English Creek Avenue heading north behind a Cadillac when he saw the driver — identified as Nancy Cavanaugh, 66, of the township — cross the lane and crash into a Kia Soul, which overturned and caught fire. Stebbins sped up to get as close as he could and rushed to the woman in the driver’s seat. Just behind him was Jerry Fournier. But as much as they tried, they couldn’t get the door to open or a window to break. “Just get the baby,” the woman said. “Just get the baby.” Stebbins — who said he hadn’t known there was a baby inside — rushed to the back. The fire was growing bigger, so Stebbins took a deep breath and dove in. “I tried to feel for the straps,” he said. But the little boy was buckled tight in his safety seat. Stebbins tried to take another breath, inhaling heat and soot. He began coughing and pulled out to get fresh air.… Read more


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