Woman Drives Onto Crowded Sidewalk on Las Vegas Strip, Kills One, Injures Dozens
Authorities say the crash seemed intentional
While some’s focus in Las Vegas on December 20th was on Planet Hollywood, the Miss Universe Pageant, and Steve Harvey’s accidentally giving the crown to the wrong contestant, outside on the Las Vegas Strip, tragedy struck as a woman drove her car into a crowd of people, killing one and injuring dozens.
The driver was 24-year-old Lakeisha N. Holloway, who had arrived in Las Vegas about a week prior from Oregon. The night of the crash, she had had a falling out with the father of her 3-year-old child, and also took something that a drug recognition expert called a “stimulant” (blood test results are pending).
Drive for Good: Mazda teams up with NBCUniversal for the annual charity event
— LVMPD (@LVMPD) December 21, 2015
According to witnesses and a video of the crash, Holloway twice drove her 1996 Oldsmobile into the crowds on the sidewalk across from the Bellagio’s famous dancing water fountains, with one witness saying that the car seemed to be going 30 to 40 mph. Bystanders banged on the car’s windows or jumped on top in an attempt to stop the vehicle, but Holloway continued driving. After striking and running over dozens of people, Holloway left the scene and drove a few blocks to a hotel. She parked, called over a valet, and asked him to call the police, as she had run over some people on the strip. The valet described Holloway as “stoic” as police arrested her.
Holloway’s 3-year-old daughter was inside the car the entire time, and was uninjured. Police say that they do not have a definitive motive, but video of the incident appeared to show that the assaults were intentional and Las Vegas Police Captain Brett Zimmerman said in a press conference that authorities had ruled out the possibility that this might be an act of terrorism.
At least 35 victims were taken to local hospitals, including three listed in critical condition with head injuries. The victim who was fatally struck was 32-year-old Jessica Valenzuela of Buckeye, Arizona, who was visiting Las Vegas with her husband.
Holloway is being charged with murder with a deadly weapon and is being held without bail, according to District Attorney Steve Wolfson.
“When a person drives a 2,000-pound-plus motor vehicle intentionally onto a sidewalk, killing and injuring scores of people, that’s murder,” Wolfson said. He also said that the prosecution was considering a range of additional charges.