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Off-duty Highway Patrol sergeant involved in fatal traffic accident in southwest valley

An off-duty Nevada Highway Patrol sergeant, who is believed to have had a diabetic episode while driving, triggered a car accident that left a woman dead Wednesday afternoon, Las Vegas police said.

The three-car accident occurred in the southwest valley about 1:30 p.m., said Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Monty Hall.

Hall said Highway Patrol Sgt. Edward Lattin, 46, was driving southbound on Rainbow Boulevard near Tropicana Avenue when he lost control of his Ford F-150 pickup. The vehicle veered east and struck a Toyota Cressida also traveling southbound on Rainbow. The Cressida was preparing to turn left.

The pickup Lattin was driving was not a Highway Patrol vehicle, Hall said.

The collision caused Lattin’s truck to roll on top of the Cressida and overturn, eventually landing on its wheels, police said.

A passenger in the Cressida, a woman who was not identified by police, was thrown from the car. She was transported to University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Lattin’s pickup split open the passenger side of the vehicle, Hall said.

The Cressida then struck a Chevrolet S-10 pickup driving northbound on Rainbow. That pickup was driven by Kevin Merrill, 26, of North Las Vegas, police said.

Two other victims were taken to UMC, were treated and released, Hall said.

The driver of the Cressida was identified as Manuel Ramirez, 50, of Las Vegas.

Witnesses said they believed Lattin might have been intoxicated, Hall said.

Las Vegas police did not have the authority to give him an alcohol breath test, but Lattin voluntarily took the test, Hall said.

Hall said Lattin’s account of the accident is very similar to those who suffer from a diabetic episodes while driving.

“He doesn’t remember the accident,” Hall said. “All he knows is he went to a drive-through to get food, and then he woke up and was in his truck.”

Hall said the incident was submitted to the district attorney’s office for review. Officials with the office will determine whether Lattin should be charged with any crime, Hall said.

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