I-Team: Woman accused of causing deadly Strip crash after allegedly driving car into crowds speaks

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In December 2015 police say a woman used her car to plow into people walking around the Las Vegas Strip.  Metro Police said Lakeisha Holloway had her 3-year-old in the car with her when she drove her car into crowds not once, but several times.

It was a violent crash that left one person dead, and nearly 40 others hurt.  Holloway recently broke her silence to tell her side of the story in a one-on-one interview with the I-Team’s Vanessa Murphy.

Holloway says she doesn’t remember when she plowed into the pedestrians on the Las Vegas Strip, but she does remember some of the aftermaths of what happened.

“All I remember is a body hitting my windshield, okay, blink out, and then I come back to and there are people banging on my car,” Holloway said.  “I blink out, I come back to, and I see a red light but my windshield is scrambled because it’s broken.”

Jessica Valenzuela, a mother of three from Arizona was killed in the crash, and according to Metro Police, 37 others were injured.   

Detectives say Holloway had marijuana in her system.

“I apologize for any hurt and pain, but what I want them to know — in this moment — is it was not intentional,” Holloway said.  “It was not intentional at all. That was not in my heart. That is not who I am.” 

The 28-year-old woman then went on to describe the transient life she lived in the months before the deadly wreck by saying she was living in multiple locations.

A psychiatrist testified that Holloway has a delusional disorder and that she is currently on medication to address mental health needs, but she does not believe Holloway is mentally ill.

Before the crash Holloway claims she was dealing with at least two deaths of loved ones, she had left a government job and joined an anti-government group, and was trying to leave the church of Scientology, which led to what she calls a “mental breakdown.”

“How does trauma cause someone to breakdown cause that’s never happened,” Holloway asked?  “I’m a strong individual. I’ve been on my own since I was very young.” 

8 News NOW was the only camera at Holloway’s most recent court appearance on Wednesday.  She faces 71 charges, including murder, attempted murder, and child abuse. The child abuse charge is because her 3-year-old daughter was in the car with her when the fatal wreck occurred.

According to Holloway, her daughter is being cared for by the child’s father in Louisiana.

“If I could change the hands of time, I would,” Holloway said. 

In a video for an organization in Portland, Oregon, a younger Holloway could be seen explaining how she graduated from college and landed a job, after facing challenges in her life.

“It seems like a cold change, but it wasn’t as sudden as from that to this,” Holloway said. “It was a process that led up to it, and it was just getting lost with the wrong things. “I’m not a monster,” she explained.

Holloway’s next court date is set for May 2019.

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