Published Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 | 7:51 a.m.
Updated Friday, Sept. 14, 2012 | 10:50 a.m.
The graveyard shift bartender at the Crown & Anchor heard a mighty crash and ran outside to find scattered body parts, a demolished vehicle and four dead people.
The bus stop outside on Spring Mountain Road east of Decatur Boulevard was demolished by a Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The scene was horrific.
Not everyone was dead, though. And as rescue crews worked to free the driver from the wrecked car, he asked loud enough to be heard by the bartender:
“Did I make it to the liquor store?”
Metro Police officials identified Las Vegan Gary Lee Hosey Jr., 24, as the vehicle's driver. He had four passengers at the time: Las Vegas residents Akililu Atanaw, 24, Maarig Tewolde, 26, and Wendim Fisenar, 31, and San Diego resident Tamesgen Adam, 22.
Ashley Cascante, the tavern’s day-shift bartender, said the bartender, whose name she did not release, told her that every time he blinked he saw those bodies. She also said he reported the accident to police.
An employee of the Jack in the Box, which is down the block from the Crown & Anchor, said he thought he heard a bomb detonate when the accident occurred. He saw four bodies on the sidewalk by the Carl’s Jr. restaurant with blood all along the street, sidewalk and a light pole. The Monte Carlo had “taken down” the whole bus stop, he said.
Late Thursday morning, the bodies of four people lay where they died, covered by bright white sheets. The bus stop, which amounted to a long seat and a backboard with a roof, was hard to make out, either obliterated or taken away.
Dawna Duncombe, who has lived a few blocks from the bus stop for several years, said Spring Mountain Road had “become a race track, I hear people racing down the road so much.”
“I’m always thinking, ‘Where are the cops?’ you know?” she said. “This used to be a really nice area.”
Thursday morning it became the latest site of a deadly vehicle-pedestrian accident.
Police have said they suspect Hosey was drunk and speeding — unsubstantiated reports from county sources say the vehicle may have been going 100 mph — when his vehicle went airborne and hit the bus stop, killing four people and injuring eight. All four of the deceased were believed to have been people waiting at the bus stop, Metro spokesman Marcus Martin said just after noon.
“We actually had a police officer who was fueling up at the 7-Eleven at the corner," said Metro Sgt. Richard Strader. "He saw the vehicle go through the intersection, basically bottomed out and then caught air it was going so fast.”
The tragedy occurred about 6:25 a.m., just one minute before the scheduled arrival of Bus 203, which traverses a route along Spring Mountain, Desert Inn Road and Lamb Boulevard 25 times a day.
As of 10 p.m. Thursday, authorities had identified the three pedestrians, all Las Vegans, who were injured in the accident, but are withholding the names of those who died until their families have been notified.
Zakiya Corner, 29, was taken to Sunrise Hospital in critical condition, while Zexiang Wang was taken to University Medical Center in critical condition. Billy Joel Ramirez-Fuentes, 31, is at Sunrise with minor injuries.
"This is probably the biggest with the most fatalities I've seen in a long time," said Gregg Fusto, director of trauma and burn services at UMC.
The accident happened about a half hour before the hospital's 7 a.m. shift change, meaning there were more hands on deck to accommodate what Fusto called a mass-casualty incident.
"We probably had 30 personnel, so we just held them in our unit," he said.
Metro Police spokesman Tom Clevenger said the vehicle was headed east on Spring Mountain Road when it lost control, ran onto the sidewalk and hit the bus stop. There were four people in the car, he said.
Strader said several passengers had to be extricated from the vehicle.
Atanaw was transported to Sunrise Hospital in critical condition with Hosey, who is in serious condition. Adam was transported to University Medical Center in critical condition, while Fisenar and Tewolde were transported to UMC in serious condition.
Hosey has a collapsed lung and possibly a broken back, authorities said. Emergency responders said they smelled alcohol on his breath.
Hosey has been charged with four felony counts of driving under the influence causing death, Metro Police spokeswoman Laura Meltzer said. More charges could be added during the course of the investigation, she said.
Hosey, who at midafternoon was still at the hospital, was booked in absentia and will be transported to the Clark County Detention Center as soon as he is medically cleared, Meltzer said.
Streets surrounding the accident scene were reopened at 7 p.m., police said.
Sun reporters Cristina Chang, Conor Shine, Jackie Valley, Brian Nordli and the Associated Press contributed to this report.