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LAS VEGAS – One person was killed and six were in critical condition after a car crashed into pedestrians on a sidewalk Sunday night on the Las Vegas Strip, police said.
The vehicle was in the northbound lanes of Las Vegas Boulevard near Bellagio Way when the vehicle drove up onto the sideway in front of the Paris Hotel & Casino and struck pedestrians, including 37 people who were taken to the hospital, Lt. Peter Boffelli said. One person was killed, six were in critical condition, 26 injured and four were treated and released, he said.
"This is a huge tragedy that has happened on our Strip," Boffelli said.
Clark County Fire Chief Greg Cassell said the call for help came in at 6:38 p.m. and 70 emergency crew workers were sent to the scene.
The female driver left the scene. But she has since been taken into custody and is being interviewed and tested for alcohol and controlled substances.
The crash in front of the Paris and Planet Hollywood hotels occurred on a busy stretch of the Las Vegas Strip across from the dancing water fountains of the Bellagio hotel-casino where visitors crowd sidewalks as they was walk from one casino to another. The Miss Universe pageant was being held nearby at the Planet Hollywood Las Vegas Resort & Casino at the time of the crash.
Joel Ortega, 31, of Redlands, California, said he and his wife, Carla, were in Las Vegas for the weekend and found themselves blocked from walking on the sidewalk toward the Paris Hotel & Casino. They could see police investigating ab0out a block away from the scene of the crash.
"At first, I thought it was a movie shoot," Joel Ortega said, "I thought maybe we'd see someone famous."
But then they learned that it was a crash scene. Joel Ortega said it made them remember how their neighborhood was disrupted after the Dec. 2 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, near their home.
Boffelli said the police department's counter-terrorism unit was at the scene but a motive has not been determined. "(It's) unknown if it's an intentional act or impairment act," he said. Las Vegas Police Officer Jesse Roybal said the incident did not appear to be a terrorist act.
The Clark County Fire Department said in a statement that up to 50 people were given care by 70 emergency crew workers.
Those in critical condition are being treated at University Medical Center and Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.
Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center spokeswoman Stacy Acquista said 11 adults are in good condition as of 9 p.m. Danita Cohen, spokeswoman for University Medical Center, said 11 crash victims were brought to its trauma center.
Cohen said the victims' injuries included head injuries, cuts and broken bones. Some of the victims are from Montreal, Canada and were in need of French translators at University Medical Center, she said.
On Oct. 24, a woman was accused of driving into a crowd during Oklahoma State's homecoming parade in Stillwater. Four people were killed, including a 2-year-old boy, and more than 40 were hurt. The driver, 25-year-old Adacia Chambers of Stillwater, was this month found competent to stand trial on four counts of second-degree murder and 46 counts of assault.