A 79-year-old woman crashed a pickup into the back of a Fremont Street Experience stage and died Tuesday afternoon.
Witnesses saw the woman driving fast and erratically and through red lights as the truck careened north on Third Street toward Fremont Street.
Nobody else was hurt in the 2:24 p.m. crash. Las Vegas police are investigating the accident but have not determined why the woman drove into the structure. They will be looking into whether she suffered a medical episode, Sgt. Oscar Chavez said.
“Obviously, the age of the driver is of some concern,” he said.
Police identified her as Sara Dominguez of Las Vegas.
Witnesses saw a young man running after the truck shortly after it crashed.
“He was saying, ‘My grandma’s in that truck. My grandma’s in that truck,’ ” said 27-year-old Joey Hibbard, a tourist from Lake Arrowhead, Calif., who was standing on an outdoor patio of the Fitzgeralds when he heard a loud boom from the crash.
Hibbard ran to the scene to find a white 1996 Dodge Ram pickup crumpled into a brick-and-stucco structure in the back of the north-facing stage. Chavez said the building housed the electronic equipment for the stage.
“It’s a good thing there wasn’t a concert going on at that time,” Chavez said.
Chavez said Dominguez had dropped off her grandson at the corner of Third and Clark Avenue before proceeding north on Third. She began accelerating and ran some red lights, he said.
Luis Perez, 21, was stopped in his car at the corner of Third and Carson Avenue when he saw the pickup fly past him. Dominguez was traveling at least 50 or 60 miles per hour and bouncing in the truck after running over a divot in the intersection.
“I just saw her go flying by,” he said.
She appeared to accelerate before crashing into the structure, Perez said.
Perez parked his car near the scene and ran to help her. He said there was no way to remove her from the truck because of the debris surrounding the vehicle. He could see that she was wearing a seat belt and that both air bags deployed, but she was not moving.
The man who witnesses said was running after the truck and other family members were seen crying and consoling each other before being escorted by casino security through the Four Queens.
Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0440.