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Woman killed in car crash at construction site in Las Vegas ID’d

Updated July 10, 2019 - 12:27 pm

The Clark County coroner’s office said the Las Vegas woman killed in a crash Tuesday after her car barreled through a central valley construction site died on her birthday.

Rose Mary Modica was pronounced dead at University Medical Center. She was 56.

Police said it wasn’t known Tuesday evening whether impairment was a factor. On Wednesday, the coroner’s office ruled that she had died from multiple blunt force injuries she suffered in the crash. No other significant conditions were listed as a cause of death.

Court records indicate that Modica had no prior DUI arrests in Clark County.

At the scene Tuesday on the 4400 block of Washington Avenue, witnesses told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Modica’s 2007 Toyota Camry, which also was carrying four young children, was weaving back and forth just before the crash.

Another driver, David Carnell, who spotted the car in his rear-view mirror, said, “She had to be doing at least 100, and that’s no exaggeration. She honked her horn, like she couldn’t stop or something.”

Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Larry Hadfield said Wednesday that fatal detail investigators would use any retrievable vehicle data to determine whether a malfunction may have been a contributing factor. But he said the department would not be able to provide “a timeline of when the collision investigation will be completed.”

“In these types of investigations, graphs, speed workups and data retrieved from vehicles are looked at to determine the circumstances of the collision,” he said.

In 2009, Toyota announced a floor mat recall that included 2007 to 2010 Camrys following reports of accelerator pedals becoming trapped under floor mats, causing unintended acceleration. The following year, Toyota announced an accelerator pedal recall that also included 2007 to 2010 model Camrys after reports of pedals sticking in cars without floor mats, causing unintended acceleration. The company later faced more than $48 million in civil penalties after a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation into the timeliness of the recall announcements.

Neither Modica nor the children — ages 2, 4, 9 and 10 — were wearing seat belts when the speeding sedan slammed into the back of a parked work truck as nearby construction crews covered freshly laid concrete, police have said. Spinning out, the Toyota then slammed into a nearby dirt berm and rolled, hitting a skid-steer loader before coming to a stop.

When the dust from the crash had settled, Modica was lying in the street, ejected from the car.

Meanwhile, a group of good Samaritans helped pull the children from the wreckage. Their conditions and their relationship to Modica were not known on Wednesday.

Modica’s stepdaughter, Jazmin, told the Review-Journal on Wednesday that she had not spoken to her family in almost a decade but said that Modica and her father have two adult children together — a son and daughter. She declined to comment further.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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