The Latest: Police say woman intentionally drove into crowd
SALLY HO & KEN RITTER
Dec. 21, 2015
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The latest about a fatal car-pedestrian crash Sunday night on the Las Vegas Strip (all times local):
Police say a woman intentionally swerved her car onto a busy sidewalk two or three times Sunday and mowed down people outside a Las Vegas casino, killing one person and injuring at least 30 others.
Police say the woman, who is in her 20s, had a 3-year-old child in the car with her at the time. The child was unharmed.
The woman who police said had recently arrived in Las Vegas drove a 1996 four-door Oldsmobile with Oregon license plates.
Lt. Dan McGrath says police now believe this was an intentional act by a woman in her 20s who "went up and off these streets, two or possibly three times." The woman is being interviewed and is having her blood drawn. She is being held in jail with charges pending.
Six patients who had been admitted to area hospitals in critical condition were stable after their initial treatment.
Justin Cochrane, a property manager from Santa Barbara, California, said he was having dinner at a sidewalk restaurant outside the Paris Hotel & Casino and across the street from the famous Bellagio Fountain when the crash took place.
The car appeared to be going 30 to 40 mph when it first hit the pedestrians on Las Vegas Boulevard, Cochrane said. "It was just massacring people," he said.
The vehicle then went further down the road and backed into another crowd of pedestrians, he said.
Cochrane said he couldn't understand why the car went into the crowd a second time. "Why would it slow to go around and then accelerate again?" he said. "I thought it's a crazy person."
Cochrane said he saw children and adults injured and on the ground as the car drove away.
Las Vegas Police Capt. Brett Zimmerman said that while terrorism has been ruled out, but that the crash appears to be intentional.
The driver apparently drove onto the sidewalk, hitting pedestrians, then went back into the street before driving onto the sidewalk again at a different spot of Las Vegas Boulevard, hitting others. Zimmerman said police are reviewing video from casino-hotel surveillance cameras.
"We know this was not an act of terrorism," he said. "We will comb through that footage to get a detailed idea of what occurred. Right now from what we know, we're looking at it possibly being intentional."
He also said a three-year-old child was in the vehicle but was not hurt. Police said the driver of the car, a woman, also was not hurt.
Lt. Dan McGrath said the 1996 Oldsmobile was not registered to Nevada and the driver had recently moved to the area.
McGrath said that after the crash, the vehicle continued to drive east on Flamingo Road before it was found at a hotel. The woman was taken into custody by police and detectives were investigating whether she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
McGrath said the pedestrians were not in the road and were not at fault. He added that the person who was killed is an adult
The crash in front of the Paris and Planet Hollywood hotels occurred on a busy stretch of the Las Vegas Strip across from the dancing water fountains of the Bellagio hotel-casino where visitors crowd sidewalks as they was walk from one casino to another. The Miss Universe pageant was being held nearby at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort & Casino at the time of the crash.
Joel Ortega, 31, of Redlands, California, said he and his wife, Carla, were in Las Vegas for the weekend and found themselves blocked from walking on the sidewalk toward the Paris Hotel & Casino. They could see police investigating ab0out a block away from the scene of the crash.
"At first, I thought it was a movie shoot," Joel Ortega said, "I thought maybe we'd see someone famous."
But then they learned that it was a crash scene. Joel Ortega said it made them remember how their neighborhood was disrupted after the Dec. 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, near their home.
Those in critical condition from the car-pedestrian crash on the Las Vegas Strip are being treated at University Medical Center and Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center spokeswoman Stacy Acquista said 11 adults are in good condition as of 9 p.m. Danita Cohen, spokeswoman for University Medical Center, said 11 crash victims were brought to its trauma center. No conditions were immediately available, Cohen said.
Gov. Brian Sandoval issued a statement Sunday night offering the state's help.
"I have spoken with (Clark County) Sheriff Joe Lombardo and will remain in contact with him as this incident continues to evolve and additional information is released. The state stands ready to help and will provide any assistance needed to ensure the safety of our visitors and residents," Sandoval said. "Kathleen and I extend our deepest sympathies to all who are affected by this shocking and tragic event. Additionally, I would like to thank the first responders and the medical professionals who are caring for the victims this evening."
Police say one person was killed after a car crashed into pedestrians on a sidewalk Sunday night on the Las Vegas Strip.
Lt. Peter Boffelli says the vehicle was in the northbound lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard near Bellagio Way when the vehicle drove up onto the sideway in front of the Paris Hotel & Casino and struck pedestrians, including 37 people who were taken to the hospital. One person was killed, six were in critical condition, 26 injured and four were treated and released.
"This is a huge tragedy that has happened on our Strip," Boffelli says.
Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell says the call for help came in at 6:38 p.m. and 70 emergency crew workers were sent to the scene.
Boffelli also says the counter-terrorism unit was at the scene but a motive has not been determined. "(It's) unknown if it's an intentional act or impairment act," he said.
The female driver left the scene. But she has since been taken into custody and is being interviewed and tested for alcohol and controlled substances.
Las Vegas Police Officer Jesse Roybal said the incident did not appear to be a terrorist act.
The Miss Universe pageant was being held nearby at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort & Casino at the time of the crash.
Authorities say 11 adults were taken to a trauma center after a car ran into pedestrians Sunday night on the Las Vegas Strip.
Danita Cohen, spokeswoman for University Medical Center in Las Vegas, says the crash victims were brought to its trauma center. No conditions were immediately available.
KSNV-TV says the crash occurred in front of the Paris Hotel & Casino and Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort & Casino on South Las Vegas Boulevard, north of Harmon Avenue. The crash took place about 6 p.m. The Miss Universe pageant was being held at the Planet Hollywood at the time of the crash.
The station says a woman, the alleged driver in the crash, is undergoing a field sobriety test. Multiple police and fire trucks are at the scene.
KSNV says the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has closed Las Vegas Boulevard between Harmon and Flamingo Road.