Las Vegas Sun

August 22, 2017

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Woman killed in crash on bridge over U.S. 95

A Las Vegas woman was killed and six others were injured, two of them critically, in a weekend crash that is still under investigation by Metro Police.

An 18-year-old, Katrina Fernandez, died while riding with four other teens in a 1987 Ford Mustang about 9:30 p.m. Friday on Vegas Drive near Rainbow Boulevard.

The Mustang was speeding west on a two-lane bridge above U.S. Highway 95 when the car moved into a lane carrying oncoming traffic, trying to pass a slow-moving vehicle, police said. The Mustang swerved back to avoid an eastbound police car before re-entering oncoming traffic.

A 1994 Chevrolet Suburban following behind the patrol car could not avoid crashing into the Mustang's right side, the force of the crash splitting the car in half, police said.

Fernandez was taken to University Medical Center's Trauma Center where she was pronounced dead.

Fernandez's boyfriend, Yasmany Lopez, 18, of Las Vegas, was driving. He suffered moderate injuries and was released from UMC on Saturday, a nursing supervisor said.

There have been no charges filed in the accident as the investigation continues, police said.

A 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl in the Mustang were also critically hurt.

The Suburban's driver, Enosa Pili, and passengers Tafai Pili, his wife; 2-year-old Earius Pili, his son; and 6-month-old Michael Hsu, a cousin; all suffered minor injuries.

"We were singing on our way home, in our language (Samoan)," Tafai Pili said. "We were on our way home to dinner."

Traveling behind the police car, driver Enosa Pili took it slowly. "All of a sudden I see this car sliding toward our car," Tafai Pili said. "I thought, 'OK, it will stop.' It didn't. It just went 'boom.' "

Joe Hsu of Los Angeles, Michael's father, had dropped his 6-month-old son off to visit with the Pilis, who drove him to see the Las Vegas Strip.

When Hsu tried to call the Pilis to pick him up, he learned about the accident. The baby had a black eye, but suffered no other injuries.

"We just got in to Las Vegas," Hsu said. "I had a good time, but when I heard (about the accident), I couldn't believe it."

Lopez, the driver of the Mustang, was at the hospital at the same time as Hsu. Hsu said that Lopez told him his Mustang had faulty brakes that needed to be fixed.