9 dead in North Las Vegas crash involving speeding

Nine people died in a six-vehicle crash Saturday afternoon in North Las Vegas, police said.

North Las Vegas Police Department spokesman Alexander Cuevas said officers responded just after 3 pm to the crash at Cheyenne Avenue and Commerce Street. A total of 15 people were involved in the collision. One person was in critical condition at University Medical Center as of 11 pm Cuevas said one person was transported to the hospital but later died.

“Our thoughts and our prayers are with the families who are experiencing a tremendous and unnecessary loss due to a careless and senseless act,” North Las Vegas Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown said at an 11 pm news conference near the scene.

Cuevas said a maroon Dodge Challenger was heading north on Commerce approaching Cheyenne at a high speed and ran a red light. The Dodge hit multiple vehicles.

“It was a chaotic event,” Cuevas said.

The driver of the Dodge and the other occupant of the car died. Cuevas said the others killed ranged from young juveniles to middle-aged adults. He said the five other vehicles involved were a white Toyota, a white Ford Fusion, a tan Chevrolet Malibu, a white Hyundai Tucson and a white Mercedes-Benz SUV.

“We have not seen a mass casualty traffic collision like this before,” Cuevas said. “… Please make this a safer community by slowing down. Pay attention to speed limits. ”

There will be road closures in the area for several more hours, Cuevas said at an 11 pm news conference.

Less than three weeks ago, another six-vehicle crash just south of Las Vegas left four people dead.

On Jan. 10, a Cadillac was headed north in the southbound lanes of Interstate 15 near Jean when it collided with a Toyota pickup, the Nevada Highway Patrol said. The Toyota burst into flames, and three people inside were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Cadillac, a woman, also died at the scene.

Recent spike in traffic deaths

Last year was the deadliest on Nevada roads in 14 years. Nevada had 382 traffic fatalities in 2021, representing an 18 percent year-over-year increase statewide.

“It’s shocking,” newly-named Clark County Office of Traffic Safety director Andrew Bennett said recently. “We believe that speed and impairment will continue to be the leading causes of fatalities, and at the end of the day those two specifically are choices that people make.”

In Clark County, there was a year-over-year increase of 22 percent with 235 deaths. About 8 percent of all cases investigated by the county coroner’s office in 2021 were fatal crashes.

Fatalities had fallen for several years, reaching a low of 304 in 2019. They’ve increased both of the past two years, state data shows.

The highest death total noted by state records dating to 1991 happened in 2006, when 431 fatalities were recorded.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

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