A woman driving an SUV plowed into a bus stop on Rainbow Boulevard on Monday afternoon, injuring four people including one critically.
Las Vegas police said the 41-year-old woman, Deborah Martinez, of Las Vegas, was driving a 2006 Mitsubishi Endeavor west on Charleston Boulevard when she turned right onto Rainbow. For an unknown reason, she veered off the road and struck the bus stop on the east side of Rainbow, said Sgt. Tracy McDonald of the Las Vegas police’s fatal traffic unit.
Four people who were seated at the bus stop or standing nearby were injured during the accident and rushed to University Medical Center.
A man who worked at a nearby business said he heard the crash and rushed to the bus stop. He said he saw four people laying bloodied in the street and on the sidewalk. One man — later identified by police as Ruben Carvajamontes, 41, of Las Vegas — was stuck underneath the SUV and was bleeding from head wounds, he said.
“All I saw was the aftermath,” said the man, who declined to be identified.
Police said the crash left Carvajamontes in critical condition. Alberto Talavera, 26, of Las Vegas, was listed in serious condition. Georgiana Carter, 54, of Las Vegas, and Gerry Williams, 22, also of Las Vegas, were listed in moderate condition.
Martinez, the SUV driver, was not hurt, police said. McDonald said one victim was left with two broken legs and another suffered severe lacerations.
McDonald said the driver didn’t appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Witnesses told police Martinez was talking on her phone when she got out of the SUV. Police didn’t know if she was talking on the cell phone at the time of the crash, McDonald said.
In recent years there have been similar local incidents involving drivers striking bus stops and injuring people.
In May 2004, Nicholas Serrano-Villagrana was accused of hitting a bus stop with his truck on Eastern Avenue near U.S. Highway 95, killing a 4-year-old boy and injuring two others. He was sentenced to 12 to 40 years in prison. He said he wasn’t driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.
In March 2005, Veronica Schmidt killed four people, including two 16-year-olds and a 14-year-old, when the SUV she was driving ran off the road and struck a bus stop.
Schmidt, who had Xanax in her system at the time of the accident, later entered an a plea under which she didn’t admit guilt but acknowledged that she would likely be found guilty if the case went to trial.
She was sentenced to eight months under house arrest.