Evaluation ordered for driver charged with fatal crash in Westland

Ponya Lee charged with second-degree murder in Patricia Nwaneri's death

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Ponya Lee (left) faces a second degree murder charge after allegedly intentionally crashing her vehicle Feb. 17 in Westland, killing Patricia Nwaneri (right).

WESTLAND, Mich. - A driver charged with causing the crash in Westland that claimed the life of a mother last month will undergo a forensic exam and competency hearing before a judge will decide if she will stand trial.

Ponya Lee is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the crash, which happened Feb. 17 at Wayne and Warren roads. Her preliminary exam was slated for Thursday, but didn't happen, pending the outcome of the exam.

Police said Lee was on her phone when she ran a red light and hit 55-year-old Patricia Nwaneri.

Just prior to the crash, police said Lee told her girlfriend she was going to intentionally crash her car. She blew through the intersection seconds later.

"I heard the whole accident on the phone and I heard my car getting crashed and OnStar coming on," said Cynthia Dozier, Lee's now ex-girlfriend.

Police said the car's black box shows Lee never put on the brakes.

"She greatly increased her speed, approximately 60 miles per hour, she went through a red light," said Westland police Sgt. Randy Thivierge.

Lee was briefly hospitalized, then returned to her apartment. Dozier said they argued and Lee came after her with a Samurai sword.

Nwaneri, a mother of four, had been on her way to work as a nurse at St. Jude Nursing Center.

Read: Children remember mother who was killed in crash

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