LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Metro Police are saying reckless driving is the cause of a crash at Durango and Desert Inn that left four people dead, including a child, Thursday evening. Metro Traffic Captain Jason Letkiewicz said a vehicle speeding on eastbound Desert Inn rear-ended another, causing both to cross into the intersection.
Three cars involved burst into flames. The third vehicle became involved when the initial two came to rest against it, causing all three to ignite.
The driver at fault is among the deceased, and the three others who died were in the vehicle that was rear-ended. Letkiewicz said two additional victims, a juvenile and adult, sustained substantial but reportedly non-life-threatening injuries thanks to witnesses who saw the accident.
“The citizens who put their own lives at risk were able to remove two people from the vehicle that currently has three victims in it,” said Letkiewicz. “Instead of five victims in that vehicle, there are only 3.”
Police say the investigation is complex and that it was raining at the time, and it appears to be a case of reckless driving. Wet roads are preventing the observation of skid marks. Investigators are having to rely heavily on witness statements and video.
“We would say reckless driving was the cause of this accident. Speed was a contributing factor, but reckless driving.”
Captain Letkiewicz implored the public to think before driving, especially with the adverse weather conditions at hand. He asked people to slow down, as motorists do not get good traction.
“Every time I’ve come before you guys, I’ve told you the same thing. Think before you drive,” he said. “Stop doing stupid things. It’s wet; the roads are wet … Slow down. There is no place that you have to be so badly that you put your own life or somebody else at risk. And as a result, four people are dead today, and two others’ lives are changed unalterable, the day after Christmas.”
He finished with powerful words:
“Just think about somebody maybe besides yourself. It’s unbelievable. It’s unacceptable.”
All lanes of the intersection remain blocked. Avoid the area.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.