Lakeisha Holloway’s path to the Strip seems to have passed out of homelessness and back again. And now the woman accused of driving her Oldsmobile onto a busy sidewalk Sunday, killing one and injuring dozens of others, faces a murder charge.
On Tuesday, the Clark County district attorney’s office charged Holloway, 24, with one count each of murder with a deadly weapon; child abuse, neglect, or endangerment; and leaving the scene of an accident.
Her first court appearance is scheduled for 8 a.m. today, the office said in a Tuesday morning news release.
Not long ago, Holloway had seemed to be turning her life around. CNN reported an Oregon nonprofit organization gave Holloway a role model award in 2012.
But on surveillance video taken Sunday,a source close to the investigation said, Holloway is seen driving her Oldsmobile along the Strip, creeping along with the flow of traffic, before suddenly accelerating and turning right onto the sidewalk in front of Planet Hollywood Resort.
Pedestrians headed south scattered, but many of those walking north never saw Holloway’s car, as they were struck from behind.
Holloway drove through the crosswalk in front of Paris Las Vegas and careened into a light pole. Jessica Valenzuela was trapped under the Oldsmobile for at least 200 yards as pedestrians ran alongside, banging on the car and trying to get Holloway to stop, the source said.
Valenzuela, 32, of Buckeye, Ariz., died at University Medical Center. The Clark County coroner’s office did not determine the cause and manner of her death Tuesday. A crowdfunding campaign set up for Valenzuela described her as a wife and mother of three and had already raised more than $33,800 as of 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Thirty-five people were injured in the crash, three of whom had critical head injuries, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said. Most of the injured were taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center and UMC.
Some of them were college athletes who had come to compete in the Wartburg Desert Duals wrestling tournament held annually in Las Vegas. Two of the teams, Pacific University of Oregon, and Delaware Valley University, pulled out of the competition Monday as four Pacific team members were injured and five Delaware Valley athletes were reported injured.
Holloway told police that she remembered a body bouncing off her windshield, breaking it. She told police she was not on drugs or alcohol, according to the arrest report.
Blood samples were taken from Holloway, and although she did not demonstrate signs of being under the influence of alcohol when she was arrested, she may have been on stimulants, the report said.
Authorities are expecting results of Holloway’s drug test to be returned soon.
Holloway’s lawyer, Deputy Public Defender Scott Coffee, said that her status at the jail “speaks to her mental state.”