( 4UMF NEWS ) 37 Injured In Hit-And-Run:
A driver plowed into a packed sidewalk along the Las Vegas Strip Sunday, killing one of the 37 people struck near a venue hosting the Miss Universe pageant.
The woman with Oregon license plates and a 3-year-old child on board intentionally slammed into the pedestrians along Las Vegas Boulevard at 6:40 p.m. local time, authorities revealed late Sunday.
The child passenger was not hurt. The driver was taken into custody shortly after the crash and identified by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Capt. Dan McGrath as a woman in her 20s. He expects her to be charged later on Monday.
“She went off the street and off the sidewalk at least two times,” McGrath said. “We are treating this as an intentional act.”
A large crowd of onlookers near the dancing fountain outside the Bellagio Hotel & Casino gawked at the crash site where six people were critically injured as it was swarmed by investigators and firefighters.
Rabia Quershi, who was visiting from Wisconsin, said her surgeon husband immediately stopped the car and darted out to help after witnessing the chaos, which she likened to bowling.
“The car was like a bowling ball and the human bodies were like pins,” Quershi told KSNV-TV. “Literally they were flying through the air.”
Her husband, Atif, counted at least six people on the pavement when he first saw the aftermath of the collision.
“The first thing that came to mind is that I should be out there helping them,” he said.
Investigators quickly ruled out terrorism as a factor in the wreck, but impairment remains a possibility. The driver’s toxicology results are pending, authorities said.
Medics took 26 patients to three hospitals in the Las Vegas area and French translators were needed for some of the Canadian victims from Montreal, according to hospital officials. One person who required CPR at the site of the crash died following the wreck.
Traffic was shut down from East Flamingo Road to Harmon Ave. as first responders tended to victims strewn along a sidewalk and crosswalk outside the Paris Las Vegas Hotel. Towels, clothes and shoes were seen scattered on the pavement.
“Kathleen and I extend our deepest sympathies to all who are affected by this shocking and tragic event,” Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said in a statement Sunday. “Additionally, I would like to thank the first responders and the medical professionals who are caring for the victims this evening.”
The driver is in police custody and undergoing tests for both alcohol and drugs, cops said.
A 1996 Oldsmobile vehicle used in the wreck was not registered in Nevada. Authorities believe the suspect had been in the state for only a week before the incident.
Her vehicle came to a brief stop after smashing into the crowd, but lurched forward repeatedly as multiple witnesses pounded on the woman’s car window and hood, demanding that she step out.
A witness told KSNV-TV she saw a woman stuck under the vehicle.
The driver drove away and turned herself in after parking her car at the Tuscany, the TV station reported.
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