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Mother, 2 children killed in Henderson DUI crash

Updated January 8, 2024 - 7:34 pm

A woman and her two young sons were killed in a suspected DUI crash in Henderson on Sunday, and the allegedly impaired driver said at the crash scene that he had consumed a “pretty good amount,” according to an arrest report.

The 38-year-old mother and her two boys, ages 5 and 6, were killed after they were rear-ended by a suspected drunk driver at 5:49 p.m. Sunday at Lake Mead Parkway and Grand Cadence Drive, a senior Henderson police officer said during a news conference Monday.

“Speed and impairment are considered to be contributing factors in this tragic incident,” Deputy Chief Jonathan Boucher of the Henderson Police Department said, speaking to reporters Monday at the intersection where the tragedy happened.

Boucher didn’t identify the mother and children who died. The identities are expected to be released by the Clark County coroner’s office.

The man suspected of causing the crash was hospitalized with minor injuries and then arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired, police said.

Darryl Smith, 36, faces three counts of DUI causing death and one count of reckless driving, Boucher said. He remained in custody Monday, records showed.

A Henderson police arrest report released Monday described the terrible aftermath of the crash.

Henderson Police officer Jason Scoble wrote in the arrest report that he arrived at the scene and soon heard a man screaming in anguish — “the voice of a man in pain.”

According to the report, the man said that his wife and two sons were in the black Hyundai sedan — one of four vehicles involved in the crash — and that they had just been together.

“Tears filled his eyes, and a rage began to come over him due to the difficulty of the situation,” the report stated.

Meanwhile, Smith was still in his truck when a paramedic arrived at the scene. Smith “stumbled out, appeared intoxicated” and said he had had three glasses of wine and cough syrup after he was asked if he had been drinking, the report said.

“I had a pretty good amount,” Smith allegedly said.

‘Critical importance of responsible driving’

“These distressing incidents underscore the critical importance of responsible driving,” Boucher said. “We implore our community that if you are under the influence of an intoxicating substance, please use a sober driver or a rideshare company or a taxi or a bus.”

Boucher also said a man, 52, died in a crash Sunday at 12:09 p.m. at Mountain Vista Street and Sunset Road in Henderson. It wasn’t yet known what caused that crash, he said Monday.

“It’s unknown at this time whether speed, impairment or a medical episode contributed to that collision,” Boucher said.

A news release from Henderson police explained how the crash that killed the woman and her two sons allegedly happened.

According to police, the three were in a black Hyundai sedan that was stopped at a red light on westbound Lake Mead Parkway when a white Dodge pickup driven by Smith rear-ended the Hyundai.

That impact then caused the Hyundai to collide with a BMW SUV and Ford pickup truck.

The woman and her 5-year-old son were pronounced dead at the scene. The 6-year-old boy was taken to a local hospital, where he died, police said.

After Smith was released from the hospital, he was booked into the Henderson Detention Center.

Two passengers in the BMW were hospitalized with nonlife-threatening injuries, police said.

Stepping up enforcement efforts

Citing the two crashes, Boucher said Henderson police “will be increasing our enforcement efforts over the course of 2024.”

“Unfortunately over the past year, we have seen an unacceptable increase in accidents throughout our community,” Boucher said.

Contact Brett Clarkson at bclarkson@reviewjournal.com.

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