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North Las Vegas police are investigating ‘mass casualty’ crash that left nine people dead

<i>KVVU</i><br/>The intersection in North Las Vegas where police say a Dodge Challenger ran a red light Saturday
The intersection in North Las Vegas where police say a Dodge Challenger ran a red light Saturday

By Tina Burnside and Kelly Murray, CNN

Nine people, including four children, have died following a multi-vehicle traffic collision in North Las Vegas, Nevada, officials said.

They are among 15 people involved in the crash Saturday afternoon, according to Alex Cuevas, spokesperson for North Las Vegas Police.

A Dodge Challenger was traveling at high speed and ran a red light, hitting several vehicles and causing a “chaotic event,” Cuevas said. A total of six vehicles were involved.

The Challenger first hit two vehicles in oncoming eastbound lanes, then hit three vehicles in a westbound lane, North Las Vegas Acting Police Chief Jacqueline Gravatt said during a news conference Sunday.

One of the first vehicles hit was a Toyota Sienna van carrying three adults and four children, all of whom died in the crash, Gravatt said.

The driver and passenger in the Challenger were also killed, Gravatt said.

One person remained hospitalized in serious condition Sunday.

Speed is in the only known contributing factor for the crash, Gravatt said, noting investigators will also look at other details, including reports from the coroner’s office.

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to North Las Vegas to assist with the investigation.

Calling the incident “an unprecedented loss of life,” North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee said the grieving process will take a long time for both the families and the community.

“Our thoughts and our prayers are with the families who are experiencing a tremendous and unnecessary loss due to a careless and senseless act,” North Las Vegas Councilwoman Pamela Goynes-Brown said during a news conference Saturday.

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CNN’s Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.

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