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Wrong-way I-15 crash south of Las Vegas leaves 4 dead

Updated January 11, 2022 - 12:20 pm

Four people died after a wrong-way crash Monday night in the southbound lanes of Interstate 15 near Jean, the Nevada Highway Patrol said.

At least six vehicles were involved in the crash, highway patrol spokeswoman Ashlee Wellman said.

At around 6 p.m., a red Cadillac was driving north in the southbound lane when it collided with a Toyota pickup, Wellman said. The Toyota burst into flames, and three people inside were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Cadillac, a woman, was also pronounced dead at the scene.

“Alcohol may have been a factor” for the driver going the wrong way, Wellman said, but the investigation is still ongoing.

The woman who died at the scene was identified Tuesday by the Clark County coroner’s office as Erica Morell, 37, of Henderson.

At least four other vehicles swerved to avoid the crash, and two people were taken to University Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

The highway will be closed until the morning, Wellman said, and delays were expected to continue.

In a Review-Journal article from April 2021, the Nevada Highway Patrol had reported an increase in wrong-way drivers.

Since Jan. 1, 2021, troopers in the state’s Southern Command had responded to 139 calls involving a wrong-way driver, compared with 128 calls by April 2020, according the Highway Patrol.

“The vast majority of wrong way drivers have been found to be impaired,” the Highway Patrol said at the time. “According to Nevada Office of Traffic Safety data, 90 percent of the wrong way fatal crashes that occurred in 2019 involved an impaired driver.”

In a brief search of Review-Journal archives, at least 20 people have died in wrong-way crashes in Southern Nevada since 2018.

Contact Jonah Dylan at jdylan@reviewjournal.com. Follow @TheJonahDylan on Twitter.

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