Two people killed in car crash near UNLV

Larry Ish

Two people killed in car crash near UNLV

CREATED Nov. 6, 2011

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - An elderly couple is dead, after a terrible car accident near the campus of UNLV. It happened just before 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

Broken glass and car parts were scattered in the entrance to UNLV's campus, near Maryland Parkway and Harmon.

"When the cars made impact, it sounded like an explosion, and pieces were going everywhere," says Gary Powell, who works at the 7-Eleven across the street. "The first thing I heard was the one car speeding down Harmon. It was going at least 80 to 90 miles an hour."

Investigators believe a Ford Fusion - going west on Harmon - sped through a red light, running straight into a Dodge Stratus heading northbound on Maryland Parkway. The impact of the crash catapulted the cars onto UNLV's campus.

The two people in the Dodge Stratus - a 69-year-old man, and 64-year-old woman - died at the scene. Police aren't releasing their names yet. But, they have identified the man driving the Ford Fusion, as 28-year-old Jonathan Syverson. He was alone in the car, and is in serious condition.

Police closed off the intersection for more than five hours, as they collected evidence and tried to recreate the accident.

"When you have that much energy transferred from one vehicle to another, that caused the cars to go basically 90 degrees in the other direction, there definitely has to be a high rate of speed that's a factor here," says Metro Police Sgt. Richard Strader.

"I was there before the ambulances," Powell says. "I walked up to the cars to see if anybody needed help, but it looked like there was no help that could be done for the two people in the Stratus. They were in real bad shape. It was awful."

While it will take a lot for Powell to get over what he saw, he's relieved more people didn't get hurt. "Thank God it wasn't on a Monday morning when school is in session."

Police have not revealed what charges Syverson could face, or if he was driving under the influence.