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DUI suspect accused of killing 2 at Las Vegas bus stop didn’t remember crash, police say

Updated April 22, 2024 - 7:34 pm

A DUI suspect accused of killing two pedestrians at an east Las Vegas bus stop emitted a “strong odor” of alcohol and told officers that she thought she had suffered a seizure and didn’t remember the crash, according to her Metropolitan Police Department arrest report.

Cynthia Phelps, 64, remained at the Clark County Detention Center Friday on five felony counts each of DUI and reckless driving resulting in death or substantial injuries, Las Vegas Justice Court records show.

Citing the serious allegations in which Phelps is accused of accelerating about 20 mph over the 45 mph speed limit, and driving in the wrong direction, Justice of the Peace Rebecca Saxe on Thursday set bail at $500,000.

Police wrote in the arrest report that she hadn’t tried braking her Kia sedan before smashing into the bus stop on Boulder Highway, near Sahara Avenue.

Phelps struck five pedestrians at the Regional Transportation Commission at about 7:37 p.m., police said.

A 42-year-old man and a 14-year-old boy died at the scene. A woman who suffered life-threatening injuries and two children who received serious injuries were taken to University Medical Center, police said.

Phelps’ arrest report identified the man killed as Robert Higgins. The Clark County coroner’s office has not released his name or that of the child.

The report described a chaotic scene following the violent collision, which included observers jumping in to try and provide medical aid before ambulances arrived.

An officer told detectives that Phelps had watery eyes, and that she had said she “believed she had a seizure,” the report said.

A second officer who practiced a field-sobriety test reported that Phelps had a “blank stare” and that “she had a strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage coming from her breath.”

The report noted that she failed the sobriety test.

Phelps allegedly told police that she had drank alcohol, but police redacted the number of drinks she admitted drinking and the time she stopped drinking.

She told detectives that at the time of the crash, she was heading home from the nearby Boulder Station casino, but denied drinking there, said the report, which noted she lived near the area.

In an interview, Phelps said she had been “experiencing dizzy spells at random times,” the report alleges.

However, she said she hadn’t been diagnosed with a condition, or reported taking any medication for them, the report said.

Phelps is next due in court Tuesday morning.

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Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com.

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