Driver in Las Vegas crash was seeking estranged partner: police

LAS VEGAS -- A homeless woman accused of slamming a car carrying her 3-year-old daughter into a crowd of pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip was likely on her way to Dallas to find the girl's estranged father, authorities said Monday.

See Full Article

Suspect Lakeisha N. Holloway, 24, resided in Oregon and had been in Las Vegas for about a week in her 1996 Oldsmobile sedan, parking it at garages throughout the city, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said.

Investigators said she ran out of money and they believe she was headed to Dallas to find her daughter's father after they had a falling out.

Police believe Holloway intentionally mowed down people on a busy stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard, killing a woman from Arizona and injuring dozens of others on Sunday night.

After the crash, she parked at a casino a few blocks away, told a parking attendant that she had run down people and asked the valet to call 911, Lombardo said. Her daughter, who was in the backseat, was not hurt.

The sheriff said Holloway was stoic when police arrived, showed no resistance and spoke coherently about what happened. He declined to elaborate on what she said.

"She didn't appear to be distressed due to her actions. That's the best way I can describe it," Lombardo said.

Authorities declined to comment on a potential motive and said they were struggling to piece together Holloway's background.

She changed her name to Paris Paradise Morton in October, according to Oregon court records.

Several years ago, Holloway, a graduate of an alternative high school, received an award for overcoming adversity from the nonprofit Portland Opportunities Industrial Center.

In 2012, she told The Skanner, a newspaper that covers Portland's African-American community, that she was homeless during her freshman year in high school.

Holloway's cousin, Lashay Hardaway, told The Oregonian that Holloway worked hard to provide for her daughter. She disputed that Holloway was homeless and said she rented a room in Las Vegas.

The crash happened in front of the Paris and Planet Hollywood casino-hotels and across from dancing water fountains of the Bellagio hotel-casino. Visitors to the stretch walk from one casino to another.

The Miss Universe pageant was being held nearby at Planet Hollywood.

People jumped on the car and banged on its windows, but Holloway didn't stop driving on the sidewalk, Lombardo said. The car was fully on the sidewalk twice, including once when it traveled for 200 feet, police said.

There was no evidence that Holloway had consumed alcohol, but a drug recognition expert at the scene determined that she was under the influence of some sort of stimulant, Lombardo said.

Holloway, who was being held without bail, will be charged with murder with a deadly weapon, said Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson, who anticipated "a great number" of additional charges.

"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.

Holloway was under suicide watch at jail, said Deputy Clark County Public Defender Scott Coffee said. He said it was too early to say if he would pursue an insanity defense.

At least 35 people injured in the crash were taken to hospitals, including three people still in critical condition with head injuries, officials said.

The crash killed Jessica Valenzuela, 32, of Buckeye, Arizona, who was visiting Las Vegas with her husband, according to the Clark County coroner.

Other victims were from Oregon, Florida, Colorado, California, Washington, Mexico, and Quebec, Canada. Five were Canadian citizens, and four were Oregon college students in town to compete in a wrestling tournament.

Among the injured were five wrestlers and their coach from Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Another four were wresters from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Justin Cochrane of Santa Barbara, California, said the car appeared to be going 30 to 40 mph when it struck the pedestrians.

"It was just massacring people," said Cochrane, who was having dinner at a sidewalk restaurant outside the Paris hotel.

Cochrane said he couldn't understand why the driver went into the crowd a second time. He saw children and adults injured on the ground as the car drove away.

"Why would it slow to go around and then accelerate again?" he said. "I thought, 'It's a crazy person.'"


Associated Press writer Gosia Wozniacka in Portland, Oregon, contributed to this report.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Shooting outside Toronto bowling alley leaves 2 dead

    Canada News CTV News
    A man and a woman have been killed following a shooting outside a bowling alley in Toronto. Officers with the Toronto Police Service were called to the bowling alley, Playtime Bowl in North York, at around 10 p.m. Source
  • Police to widen search area as Montreal boy still missing

    Canada News CBC News
    Police are planning to widen the area being searched today in their effort to find Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou, a missing 10-year-old boy who was last seen Monday afternoon. The boy had left his home in Ahuntsic-Cartierville to walk to a friend's house when he went missing. Source
  • Winning US$457 million Powerball ticket sold in Pennsylvania

    World News CTV News
    DES MOINES, Iowa -- If you bought a Powerball ticket in Pennsylvania for Saturday's drawing, you may be holding a piece of paper worth US$457 million. Powerball officials say a single winning ticket was sold in Pennsylvania that matches all of the winning numbers: 22-57-59-60-66 and Powerball 7. Source
  • Inspections, training needed to prevent ammonia leaks at ice rinks: experts

    Canada News CBC News
    Some industry experts are asking questions about the staffing and inspections of arenas using ammonia refrigeration systems, months after a leak killed three men at an ice rink in southeastern British Columbia. Ammonia is inherently dangerous and should be not used in skating and curling rinks, said Lou Roussinos, who spent decades inspecting refrigeration and boiler systems across B.C. Source
  • Trump elevates simmering Mueller, McCabe grievances to boil

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday questioned the impartiality of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and raised doubts about whether a fired top FBI official kept personal memos outlining his interactions with Trump. Source
  • Trump fires back at fired FBI official McCabe over memos

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump is reviving concerns that special counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is investigating Russian election interference, may be biased against him. Trump tweeted on Sunday: "Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added. Source
  • Fire at Manila hotel and casino kills at least 3 workers

    World News CTV News
    MANILA, Philippines -- A fire engulfed a hotel and casino in the Philippine capital on Sunday, killing at least three employees, trapping two others and forcing the evacuation of more than 300 guests, some by helicopter, officials said. Source
  • AP Exclusive: Kushner Cos. filed false documents with NYC

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- When the Kushner Cos. bought three apartment buildings in a gentrifying neighbourhood of Queens in 2015, most of the tenants were protected by special rules that prevent developers from pushing them out, raising rents and turning a tidy profit. Source
  • In Africa, Trump's firing of Tillerson a new sign of neglect

    World News CTV News
    KAMPALA, Uganda -- Ask some Africans what they think of U.S. President Donald Trump and they just shake their heads. That sense of indifference appears to have deepened after Trump fired his secretary of state at the end of Rex Tillerson's first Africa tour last week. Source
  • Bodies of 2 French skiers found after Swiss Alps avalanche

    World News CTV News
    BERLIN -- Swiss authorities say they've recovered the bodies of two French skiers killed in an avalanche in the Swiss Alps but two other skiers remain missing. Police from the Valais canton, or state, said the bodies of the two skiers, aged 20 and 25, were found buried under six metres of snow in in the Vallon d'Arbi area of southwestern Switzerland near the borders with France and Italy. Source