Last night at approximately 6:40 p.m., an Oregon woman repeatedly drove her 1996 Oldsmobile up onto a sidewalk on the Las Vegas strip, killing one person and injuring 37 more. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department identified 24-year-old Lakeisha N. Holloway as the driver of the vehicle.
Holloway has been charged with murder with a deadly weapon, and may face additional charges including leaving the scene of an accident and multiple counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon for what is being described as an “intentional act.” Holloway had a 3-year-old child in the vehicle with her at the time of the incident, which may mean that she could also be charged with child abuse/neglect.
The reasons behind this terrible act are unclear, but the authorities have so far ruled out terrorism as a motive. Witnesses say that the woman deliberately turned and accelerated onto the sidewalk three or four times, driving through crowds of people. According to the arrest report, the woman drove for about a mile past the scene of the incident and stopped at another hotel, where she asked a valet to call the police because she had just hit several people.
Homicide officials are currently reviewing security footage. Police identified 32-year-old Jessica Valenzuela, of Buckeye, Arizona, as the person killed in the crash. Of the 15 patients that arrived at University Medical Center, three are still in critical condition and nine are in serious condition. Four of the victims are students from Pacific University in Oregon, and five patients were visiting from Quebec. Other victims hailed from Mexico, Florida, and Colorado. The youngest victim is 11 years old.
Authorities say that Holloway was driving with a license that was suspended in 2013 and had never been reinstated. She is currently being held without bail.
We at Shook & Stone extend our deepest sympathy to the victims of this terrible tragedy.
Read more about this story online via CNN.