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Horrific 24-hour period spotlights rise in traffic deaths

Updated March 16, 2022 - 6:37 am

At least five people died in a roughly 24-hour period that began Sunday on Southern Nevada roads.

Monday represented a horrific day for Clark County drivers, as three different local law enforcement agencies reported separate fatal crashes, the same day family held funeral services for a 13-year-old Henderson boy who was killed after he was hit by a car a week earlier.

Those wrecks came just a day after North Las Vegas police said two motorcyclists died in a crash involving an SUV on Cheyenne and Mary Dee avenues.

In addition, Henderson police said a bicyclist was in critical condition after a crash Monday night.

Clark County was the only Nevada county to report more traffic fatalities this January and February than in the same period last year, according to new state data.

A total of 39 people died in the first two months of 2022 on Clark County roadways, the Nevada Department of Public Safety reported Wednesday. Last year the number was 31. At least 13 people died in the first two weeks of March, with others still in critical condition.

That included 14 pedestrians and one bicyclist. Statewide, 46 people died in the first two months of 2022, down from 54 last year.

The fatalities include nine people who died in a North Las Vegas crash in late January. In that crash, a speeding driver killed himself and eight others, including seven people in the same vehicle.

On Monday, the Nevada Highway Patrol reported a man died after a single-vehicle rollover crash on Summerlin Parkway, North Las Vegas police said a motorcyclist died after a collision with an SUV and the Metropolitan Police Department said a driver died after hitting a median in the west valley.

Also on Monday, Las Vegas police said a hit-and-run motorist jumped a downtown Las Vegas sidewalk last week and struck two sleeping people, killing one of them two days later. Through Monday, the department reported 30 total traffic fatalities for the calendar year so far.

The crashes have affected people throughout the valley. On March 7, Henderson police said a 21-year-old driver, Jose Marmolejo, lost control of his black coupe, and that the vehicle then went up on the sidewalk near Mannion Middle School and struck 13-year-old Rex Patchett. Police said they believe Marmolejo was speeding but not impaired.

The tragedy prompted a plea from Henderson police for drivers to slow down on the roadways.

The brutal start to the year follows a difficult 2021, when Nevada reported more traffic-related deaths than it had in 14 years. That led local officials to create a new government agency, the Office of Traffic Safety.

“These updates are insane,” Clark County commissioner Michael Naft tweeted Monday night, alongside a screenshot of news alerts about the various crashes. “Please slow down, pay extra attention, and drive like #LivesAreOnTheLine.”

Contact Jonah Dylan at jdylan@reviewjournal.com. Follow @TheJonahDylan on Twitter.

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