Woman charged in fatal Omaha crash with motorcyclist

Prosecutors say police could smell alcohol on her after the crash, but she refused a field sobriety test.
An Omaha woman has been charged with manslaughter for her role in a deadly crash.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 4:14 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - It will take $20,000 for an Omaha woman to get out of the Douglas County Jail before her trial.

That’s 10% of the $200,000 bond issued to 38-year-old Lorena Lara-Diaz on a manslaughter charge.

Making her first appearance in court Wednesday morning, Lara-Diaz is charged in a vehicle collision that killed 45-year-old motorcyclist Gary Mangiameli early Sunday morning. He was transported to Bergan Mercy, where he was pronounced dead.

Lorena Lara-Diaz
Lorena Lara-Diaz(Omaha Police Department)

According to Omaha Police, at 2:20 a.m. Saturday, officers were called to a crash at 26th and L Street involving a 2021 Chevy Silverado and a 2009 Harley Davidson motorcycle. The initial crash report stated that the driver of the truck allegedly turned left to the Highway 75 on-ramp and hit the motorcycle.

Police said Mangiameli was wearing a DOT-approved helmet at the time of the crash.

Prosecutors say police could smell alcohol on Lara-Diaz after the crash, but she refused a field sobriety test.

“We know there was alcohol involved, it’s just a question of being able to prove what amount there was and if she was under the influence,” Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said. “But it doesn’t matter we still have her driving in a reckless manner.”

He said Lara-Diaz gained no advantage by not taking the test.

“Our law’s written specifically where you can’t get an advantage by refusing to take the test,” he said. “She’s charged with manslaughter, which carries up to 20 years; and then she also has the refusal, which is the same as DUI, penalty-wise. It’s something that counts as a DUI from an enhancement purpose down the road.”

If found guilty on the manslaughter charge, Lara-Diaz could face up to 20 years in prison.

Her preliminary hearing date was set for March 2.