LAWTON - An Arizona woman faces two counts of first-degree manslaughter after causing a vehicle collision that resulted in the deaths of two Elgin residents in September.
Court records show that on Oct. 29, Nina Shae Holden, 32, of Fort Apache, Ariz., was charged with a criminal felony on two counts of manslaughter - first degree, in the Comanche County District Court. At 5:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 10, Holden was reportedly driving a 2012 Chevy Malibu southbound on US Highway 62 and attempted to pass a vehicle in a no-passing zone while under the influence of alcohol. According to a fatality collision report written by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Jacob Dickinson, it was then that Holden's vehicle struck a 2008 Chevy Cobalt that had been traveling northbound on US Highway 62, head-on.
A blood sample, said to be obtained at the scene, later revealed that Holden's blood-alcohol level was over three times the legal limit at the time of the collision. On Oct. 6, results from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation show that Holden's blood ethyl alcohol content was 0.275 g/mL. In an affidavit for arrest warrant, Trooper Riddle states, "Holden was operating the motor vehicle with a blood alcohol limit greater than the legal 0.08 g/100mL limit. Holden is also required to pass only when it is safe to pass for the approaching traffic." The driver of the Cobalt, identified as 83-year-old Teresa M. Nelson, of Elgin, was pronounced dead at the scene due to injuries sustained in the accident.
A passenger in the vehicle, Bradley Upshaw, 36, of Elgin, was transported by Air Evac to OU Medical Center and admitted in serious condition. On Sept. 23, he reportedly died due to his injuries. Court information states that it was Holden's intentional and careless attempt to pass a vehicle in a no-passing zone while under the influence that ultimately caused the collision, resulting in the deaths of Teresa Nelson and Bradley Upshaw. Each count of manslaughter - first degree, is punishable by imprisonment for not less than four years. Holden is currently being held at the Comanche County Detention Center on a $200,000 bond. A preliminary hearing conference is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m.