Las Vegas police ID suspect in fatal truck crash

Updated July 6, 2017 - 4:45 pm

Las Vegas police identified a woman they suspect plowed a stolen pickup into a patrol car and two other cars Wednesday while under the influence of drugs, killing one woman.

Metropolitan Police officers arrested Oriana Vine Leausa, 26, on a fatal DUI charge after the crashes, according to jail records. She is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.

Police said the stolen pickup, a silver Dodge Ram, first intentionally struck a patrol car near Sahara Avenue and Fort Apache Road about 4:45 p.m. The officer was taken to University Medical Center’s trauma unit for injuries that were not life-threatening.

After the initial crash, police said Leausa continued north on Fort Apache in the stolen pickup. The Ram crossed the center turn lane and entered the southbound lanes, striking a gold Saturn Aura and a red Toyota Camry head on. The woman driving the Saturn was treated at UMC, but the woman driving the Camry died at the scene.

A second officer was pursuing the truck when the fatal crash happened, police said. The woman who died will be identified by the county coroner’s office after her family has been notified.

Police said the woman driving the pickup was part of a scheme to steal a different vehicle shortly before the crashes. She and an unidentified man drove to a nearby parking lot, where they had agreed to meet people selling a different vehicle.

Police said the man got out of the stolen truck and checked out a silver, four-door 2004 BMW with the owners present. While checking out the vehicle, he suddenly drove off in it, and the woman in the stolen pickup followed.

It was the owners of the BMW who first contacted police. They tried to follow the pair as they made their escape, but lost sight of their BMW and instead followed the truck. The crashes happened about 15 minutes later.

Leausa was treated at UMC before being booked into jail.

As of Thursday afternoon, it was also unclear when the truck was first reported stolen. Leausa had not been booked on any charges related to a stolen vehicle as of Thursday, but police said additional charges were likely.

The man who drove off in the BMW had not been captured as of Thursday afternoon. Metro said detectives were working to confirm the identity of the man, described only as a Hispanic male, about 6 feet, 1 inch tall.

Online court records from the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court in Arizona show Leausa was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a deadly weapon in May 2016, driving an unregistered vehicle in September, and possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to appear in March. The Pima County cases are ongoing as of Thursday, with hearings scheduled later in July.

Posts on her Facebook page suggest Leausa and an unidentified man came to Las Vegas from Tucson, Arizona, in May. She does not have a local criminal history, Metro said.

Contact Mike Shoro at Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter. Review-Journal reporters Wesley Juhl and Rachel Crosby contributed to this story.

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