Police say one person was killed and six are in critical but stable condition after a car crashed into groups of pedestrians Sunday night on the Las Vegas Strip.
At least five Canadians were injured, one who is in critical condition.
Las Vegas police have ruled out terrorism as a factor in the crash, however, they said all indications are that it wasn’t an accident.
“We are treating this as an intentional act,” said Lt. Dan McGrath of Las Vegas Police’s homicide division.
Police described the driver was a black woman in her 20s, and was driving with a three-year-old passenger. Charges are expected to be filed as soon as possible.
A total of 37 people were impacted — in addition to the fatality and critical patients, 26 suffered non-critical injuries and four were treated and released from area hospitals. The injured were being treated at local hospitals.
Danita Cohen, spokeswoman for University Medical Center, told CBC News that of the 15 patients it received, five are Canadian.
“One of our Canadian patients is in critical condition and the rest are in serious condition,” she said.
Some patients required a French translator, it has been reported, but Cohen was not able to confirm specifically where in Canada the injured were from.
The crash victims were being treated for head injuries, cuts and broken bones.
‘It was just massacring people’
A spokesperson from Sunrise Medical Center told CBC that it had received 11 patients from the crash, but would not confirm nationality. All were adults, with eight discharged and three in fair condition.
Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell says the call for help came in at 6:38 p.m. and 70 emergency crew workers were sent to the scene.
The vehicle was in the northbound lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard near Bellagio Way when the vehicle drove up onto the sidewalk in front of the Paris Hotel & Casino.
There were at least two separate locations where the vehicle came up from the roadway and onto the sidewalk, traversing an area from the Paris to Bally’s, Las Vegas Police Capt. Brett Zimmerman told reporters.
The driver, behind the wheel of a 1996 Oldsmobile with Oregon plates, left the scene but was later taken into custody.
Justin Cochrane, a property manager from Santa Barbara, Calif., told The Associated Press he was having dinner at a sidewalk restaurant outside the Paris Hotel & Casino and across the street from the famous Bellagio Fountain when the crash took place.
“It was just massacring people,” he said.
The vehicle then went further down the road and backed into another crowd of pedestrians, he said, estimating that rate of speed at between 45 and 65 kilometres per hour.
Cochrane said he couldn’t understand why the car went into the crowd a second time. “Why would it slow to go around and then accelerate again?” he said. “I thought it’s a crazy person.”
Cochrane said he saw children and adults injured and on the ground as the car drove away.
The Strip was closed down for several hours as police processed the scene, and they also planned on reviewing video from casino-hotel surveillance cameras.
The Miss Universe pageant was being held nearby at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort & Casino at the time of the crash but there were no indications of a connection.
In 2005, a 27-year-old California man intentionally drove into a crowd of people in Las Vegas near Bally’s, killing three people. He later pleaded guilty but mentally ill, and received the equivalent of a life sentence.
On Oct. 24, a woman was accused of driving into a crowd during Oklahoma State’s homecoming parade in Stillwater. Four people were killed, including a 2-year-old boy, and more than 40 were hurt. The driver, 25-year-old Adacia Chambers of Stillwater, was this month found competent to stand trial on four counts of second-degree murder and 46 counts of assault.