Westland police: Woman intentionally crashed car, killing other driver

Woman faces 2nd degree murder charge in deadly crash at Wayne, Warren roads


A woman faces a second degree murder charge after, police say, she intentionally crashed her vehicle on Feb. 17 at Wayne and Warren roads in Westland, killing a 55-year-old Ypsilanti woman.

Westland police say Ponya Lee was traveling eastbound on Warren Road while she was having an argument over the phone with her girlfriend. Lee disregarded the traffic light at the intersection and struck a vehicle traveling northbound on Wayne Road. The driver of that vehicle, Patricia Nwaneri, later died at a hospital.

Just prior to the crash, police say Lee told her girlfriend she was going to intentionally crash her car, which was her girlfriend's 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 say 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.

"I ran out. I told everybody to run and sure enough she came out and started pointing the sword at different people," said Dozier.

Police say Lee hit two other people with the sword but they were not seriously hurt.

Lee was arraigned on a second degree murder charge Thursday afternoon. She is being held at the Wayne County Jail without bond.

Nwaneri was a single mother of four. She worked as a nurse at St. Jude Nursing Center on Ann Arbor Trail in Livonia. She was on her way to work when the crash happened.

-- Patricia Nwaneri

Pictured here is Nwaneri's vehicle after the collision.

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