The story of Lakeisha Holloway is pretty incredible—and tragic.
Just three years ago, Holloway was a student at the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center who had teachers singing her praises.
In a video sponsored by the Center, Holloway spoke about her dysfunctional upbringing, as well as the intervention from the non-profit that helped her secure employment and live what she referred to as “the grand life.”
In the video, Holloway says:
“I was a scared little girl who knew that there was more to life outside of crime, drug addiction, lower income, alcoholism, being undereducated—all of which I grew up being familiar with.”
But after intentionally crashing her car into dozens of people on a Las Vegas strip sidewalk on Sunday evening, Holloway is looking at charges for murder, leaving the scene of an accident as well as child abuse or neglect. One person was left dead while 37 others were injured, and Holloway’s poor three-year-old daughter was in the back seat for the whole incident.
Holloway hasn’t given a solid answer on why she drove into the pedestrians aside from the fact that she was sleepy and stressed out. However, she says she does remember a body having crashed into her windshield, which then broke it.
Investigators say that Holloway may have snapped because of a falling out with the father of her child. The woman was homeless and living out of her car. She allegedly had been trying to rest in the vehicle with her daughter before the crash but kept getting chased off the streets by security and eventually found herself driving on the Strip.
Holloway wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. Holloway’s daughter wasn’t injured in the crash, but unfortunately, a 32-year-old Jessica Valenzuela of Buckeye, AZ was killed.
It’s hard to believe that the woman behind this crash was the same woman that was honored with an award by her school being a role model back in 2012. An employee from her old school once spoke of her in a statement, referring to her as a “great kid” while she was enrolled.
I guess this story just goes to show that when faced with enough adversity, anyone can be driven over the edge. The “strong Black woman” is just a stereotype that can get the best of any of us. It’s obvious that Holloway needed help in her situation, just like any other person would. It’s unfortunate that she couldn’t get the help she needed before the tragedy that unfolded on Sunday night.
Our prayers go out to all of those lost or injured in the crash, as well as to Holloway and her loved ones.