Adrian Zacarias, 10, and Fernando Yeshua Mejia, 5, were identified by police as the youngest casualties in a tragic multi-vehicle Las Vegas crash on Saturday. In all, the car crash involved 15 people and six vehicles, killing 9 passengers.
Many of the victims came from a family of seven that was involved in the accident, according to CBS News, including Jose Zacarias-Caldera, 35; David Mejia-Barrera, 25; Gabriel Mejia-Barrera, 23; Bryan Axel Zacarias, 15; Lluvia Daylenn Zacarias, 13; Adrian Zacarias, 10; and Fernando Yeshua Mejia, 5, the youngest.
“We have not seen a mass casualty traffic collision like this before,” said a spokesman for the North Las Vegas Police Department. “There has been a total of confirmed nine deceased ages ranging from young juvenile to middle-aged adults.”
Eight of the nine victims’ names have been identified, while one unknown driver treated for injuries at the University Medical Center (UMC) of Southern Nevada was said to be in critical condition.
The multi-vehicle collision reportedly started when Gary Dean Robinson, a 59-year-old Las Vegas resident, sped through a red light at over 100 miles per hour. At the intersection of Cheyenne Avenue and Commerce Street, where the crash occurred, the speed limit is 35 miles per hour.
It is unknown if Robinson was impaired or intoxicated in any way at this time. He died in the six-vehicle crash, along with one other driver and the family of seven. The six others involved in the crash survived and are being treated for various injuries at UMC.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who perished,” Clark County Coroner Melanie Rouse said in an official statement.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office reported that the cause of death for all eight victims was blunt force trauma. They also listed the Las Vegas crash as accidental. Authorities are still investigating what happened. The American Red Cross is also assisting families involved in the incident.
A GoFundMe page set up by for the families of Adrian Zacarias and Fernando Yeshua Mejia has since raised over $84,107 to help with hospital bills and funeral costs.
“I lost all my family,” wrote Erlinda Zacarias. “Seven out of those lives lost there–[there] are no words to describe my pain and suffering that I will not be able to hug my children again.”
“My brother and 2 step sons also lost their lives,” she continued. “Me and my husband are in so much pain and we are asking you for help.”
The National Transportation Safety Board has reportedly launched an investigation into the crash, which is one of the worst that Las Vegas has seen in an area known for devastating car crashes.
Less that 24 hours before the multi-vehicle crash, a person was struck and killed by a pickup truck on Cheyenne Avenue, just two miles down. Earlier this month, a crash on Cheyenne Avenue killed a woman in a hit-and-run accident, and in fall 2021 there was a crash at the same intersection of Cheyenne Avenue and Commerce Street that injured two toddlers.
The intersection was closed for 12 hours following the crash and reopened on Sunday.
“Our hearts ache for the families & loved ones of the nine people killed in this senseless act – Kathy & I will be keeping them in our hearts & prayers during this very difficult time,” Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak wrote on Twitter.
Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen also commented on the tragic crash, writing that “My thoughts are with the families & loved ones of the nine people killed in this senseless and preventable tragedy.”
“I urge all drivers to please slow down and be aware of their surroundings,” she continued. “We all have a responsibility to be safe and cautious on the roads.”