Updated March 27, 2018 - 4:31 pm
A woman who was killed in a central Las Vegas Valley crash Monday was eight months pregnant, her family said.
Las Vegas resident Monique K. Leiwalo, 29, was driving north on Rainbow Boulevard near Lake Mead Boulevard shortly before 7 a.m. when a man driving an SUV sideswiped another car and rear-ended hers, police said.
The impact sent Leiwalo’s car crashing into a pole. She died at the scene.
“We didn’t just lose her, we lost my nephew to-be,” her sister, Jasmine Leiwalo, said.
Leiwalo’s unborn child, Anthony Jr., was due in May, her sister said.
Leiwalo was originally from the Hawaiian island of Oahu but moved to Las Vegas with her longtime partner, Anthony Cruz, in 2013. Cruz and Leiwalo had known each other since they were young children.
“I shared my ice cream with her, and I never stopped pursuing her until I was 13 or 14,” Cruz, now 26, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday.
Cruz said Leiwalo enjoyed going on hikes, seeing waterfalls and going camping. But all she really cared about was being with family, including her 9-year-old son, he said.
“She was the greatest person I knew,” Cruz said.
The driver of the SUV that hit Leiwalo, Timothy Naas, fled the scene but was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, police said. Naas, 29, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center where he faces several charges, including hit-and-run and driving under the influence charges, police said.
“It’s a blessing that was just taken from us in a matter of seconds,” Jasmine Leiwalo said.