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1 dead in west Las Vegas car crash involving stolen truck

Updated July 5, 2017 - 9:17 pm

A woman driving a stolen pickup plowed into a patrol car and at least two other vehicles in the west valley Wednesday, killing one woman.

The series of crashes began about 4:45 p.m., when the woman in the stolen pickup intentionally slammed into a patrol car near Sahara Avenue and Fort Apache Road, Metropolitan Police Department Capt. Roxanne Burke said.

“Our officer is OK at this point,” Burke said at the scene Wednesday evening. He was taken to University Medical Center’s trauma unit for injuries that were not life-threatening.

After the initial crash, police said the woman in the stolen pickup continued north on Fort Apache, striking a gold vehicle and a red vehicle. The woman driving the gold vehicle was taken to UMC’s trauma unit with injuries that were not life-threatening, but the woman driving the red car was pronounced dead on scene, which Burke called “a tragic loss of life.”

A second officer was pursuing the truck when the fatal crash happened, Burke said.

“As (the officer) came around the curve, attempting to find a visual of the suspect vehicle again, there was already dust and debris,” she said.

Before the crashes began, the woman driving the stolen pickup was part of a scheme to steal a different vehicle, police said.

The woman in the truck had pulled up to a nearby parking lot, where she had agreed to meet people selling a different vehicle, Burke said. The woman was with a Hispanic man about 6 feet, 1 inch tall with a white shirt and dirty work boots.

Police said the man got out of the stolen truck and checked out the silver, four-door 2004 BMW with the owners present. While checking out the vehicle, he suddenly drove off in it, Burke said, and the woman in the stolen silver truck 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 separately stolen truck, Burke said. The crashes happened about 15 minutes later.

As of late Wednesday, the Hispanic man who police said may have been working with the woman driving the stolen truck had not been located. The woman driving the stolen truck, who police did not identify, was arrested and taken to UMC’s trauma unit in critical condition.

It’s unclear if impairment was a factor, but police said the woman in the stolen truck was likely speeding when the crashes occurred. It was also unclear when the truck was first reported stolen.

The intersection of Charleston Boulevard and Fort Apache will remain closed for several hours as police continue to investigate.

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @rachelacrosby on Twitter.

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