Police: Car in Nevada crash that killed 9 was going 103 mph
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A police report says a 59-year-old motorist’s sports car was “at full acceleration,” going more than 100 mph into a busy crossroads in North Las Vegas in January, causing a multi-vehicle wreck that killed him, his passenger and seven members of a family in a minivan.
The report made public Wednesday said a vehicle computer showed Gary Dean Robinson’s maroon Dodge Challenger sped up from 90 mph to 103 mph five seconds before entering the intersection against a red traffic signal.
Chain-reaction crashes also involved a Ford Fusion in which a 31-year-old woman was critically injured.
The report confirmed earlier reports by police that speeding was a factor in the midafternoon crash. The speed limit in the area is 35 mph.
The report did not say whether Robinson was impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time. That finding will be made by the Clark County coroner, pending Robinson’s autopsy blood toxicology test results, North Las Vegas police spokesperson Alexander Cuevas said.
Killed in a Toyota Sienna were the driver, Jose Zacarias-Caldera, 35; and passengers David Mejia-Barrera, 25; Gabriel Mejia-Barrera, 23; Bryan Axel Zacarias, 15; Lluvia Daylenn Zacarias, 13; Adrian Zacarias, 10; and Fernando Yeshua Mejia, 5. They lived in North Las Vegas.
Both Robinson and the passenger who died in his car, Tanaga Ravel Miller, 46, also lived in North Las Vegas.
The police crash investigator, Officer Trevor DeSousa, said five of the nine people who died were wearing seat belts and three people were ejected from the minivan by the force of the crash.
The wreck also is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board as part of a look at speed-limiting technology in vehicles including high-performance sports cars, a board member said after the crash.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal called the wreck the deadliest in Nevada in at least the last 30 years.
Records showed that Robinson had a prior history of traffic and criminal offenses, including speeding, and had a state prison record after pleading guilty in 2004 to felony cocaine possession and violating terms of his probation. He also had a 2009 misdemeanor conviction for battery on a courtroom bailiff.