One dead, 36 injured in Las Vegas crash

Officials say one person killed, 36 people were hurt after motorist drove onto crowded sidewalk in Las Vegas near where Miss Universe pageant was being held

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Las Vegas police seen investigating the scene following a traffic accident in front of the Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, near the hotel and casino where the Miss Universe pageant was being held, December 20, 2015.

One person was killed and at least 36 were injured on Sunday night when a motorist drove onto a crowded sidewalk on the Las Vegas Strip, near the hotel and casino where the Miss Universe pageant was being held, officials said.

University Medical Center spokeswoman Danita Cohen said at least one child was among the injured and that many of the victims they received spoke French and requested translators, indicating they may have been tourists visiting the area famed for its casinos and sprawling hotels.

Peter Boffelli of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told reporters that of the three dozen injured, seven were in critical condition and four had already been released.

Boffelli said it was not immediately clear if the female driver intended to cause harm or if she was impaired, but added that she had been taken into custody. He said she was being interviewed and tested for drugs and alcohol.

"This is a huge tragedy that occurred on our strip," Boffelli said.

Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell said the crash occurred at around 6:38 pm.. The Miss Universe pageant was nearing its finale inside the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino nearby at the time.

Police warned people to avoid the area and said a section of the strip in the vicinity had been closed to traffic.

Images of the scene published by media showed a swarm of emergency and police vehicles in the area, with passersby looking on and snapping photos with smartphones.