OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — UPDATE 1:36 4/7/2022
Zachary Paulison, 22, appeared in Douglas County jail court on Thursday. Bail was set at $1 million and he will have to post 10% of that in order to be released on bond.
He is being charged with two counts of motor vehicle homicide (DUI) for the deaths of Amanda Schook and Sara Zimmerman. Paulison is also charged with a third count of motor vehicle homicide of an unborn, as Zimmerman was eight months pregnant when she died.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the District Court of Douglas County, officers obtained a warrant for a blood draw and urine sample while the suspect was admitted to Bergan Mercy Hospital.
The blood draw allegedly indicated that Paulison's blood-alcohol level was .161 when he was in the hospital. That's more than twice the legal limit.
Authorities also say that Paulison tested positive for cannabinoids — a group of substances found in the cannabis plant. According to the National Institutes of Health, that can include THC, CBD and dozens of other substances.
An OPD officer stated in a signed affidavit that crash data recorded by the Ford pickup driven by Paulison, indicates that he was allegedly driving at 102.3 miles per hour at the time of the collision and 104.7 miles per hour five seconds prior to the crash.
Investigators also allege that Paulison had several alcoholic drinks at two different West Omaha bars before the crash on Thursday evening, March 31. The bartender at one location told officers that she offered to call for a ride for Paulison, according to an affidavit filed in Douglas County Court.
A preliminary hearing for Paulison is set for June 1.
On Wednesday, the Omaha Police Department announced the identity and the charges filed against a driver involved in a car crash that resulted in multiple deaths last Thursday.
Zachary Paulison is spending his 22nd birthday in the Sarpy County Jail. He was booked for two counts of motor vehicle homicide – DUI, and one count of motor vehicle homicide for the death of an unborn child.
The crash occurred at 192nd and F Streets on March 31 and killed the other driver who was identified as 37-year-old Sara Zimmerman, an employee of the Douglas County Department of Corrections who was eight months pregnant. It also resulted in the death of Zimmerman's passenger, 38-year-old Amanda Schook, both of Gretna.
The Nissan SUV driven by Zimmerman had become engulfed in flames after the collision and all of its occupants were declared dead at the scene by members of the Omaha Fire Department. They were unable to be identified and their identities were not released until Saturday, after autopsies had been completed.
OPD stated in its original release that the crash was being investigated for alcohol and high speed as factors.
Update: A previous version of this story said that Paulison was lodged in Douglas County Corrections. He is currently booked in the Sarpy County Jail.