Pacific University wrestling coaches thankful Las Vegas crash di - KPTV - FOX 12

Pacific University wrestling coaches thankful Las Vegas crash didn't turn out worse

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Scene of deadly crash on Las Vegas Strip Scene of deadly crash on Las Vegas Strip
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Fourteen members of the Pacific University wrestling team were in Las Vegas Sunday night along with several coaches when Lakeisha Holloway drove her car through crowds of pedestrians.

Four students were injured but not seriously. The coaches said it's a miracle it didn't turn out worse.

"I looked up and saw the car pop the curb doing probably 30 miles per hour and heard the muffled thumps of humans getting hit by a car," said Head Athletic Trainer Eric Pitkanen.

Pitkanen said he's haunted by those sound of people getting hit.

The Pacific University wrestling team had just gotten out of a movie and were heading to practice, when the car plowed into the crowd.

Head Wrestling Coach Severin Walsh said he's amazed more of his students weren't hit, and even those who were got lucky.

"She somehow miraculously missed pretty much our whole team. There were people right next to our guys who had it much much worse and somehow our guys were able to go over the top of the car and receive minor injuries," said Walsh.

Walsh said coaches and students immediately jumped in to help the victims.

Pitkanen is used to treating injured athletes on the field and that medical training kicked in.

"I saw a guy flip over the top of a car and ran straight to him. Nothing really went through my head other than these people need help and I'm qualified enough to help them," said Pitkanen.

Walsh and Pitkanen both said it's clear from what they witnessed, what happened was an intentional act.

"She accelerated into the crowd and didn't come off the gas pedal the whole time. She had to swerve to miss some light poles," said Walsh.

Walsh said all of his injured players are now enjoying the holidays with their families, a chance to recover both physically and emotionally.

"It was something you can't prepare yourself to see. Just a lot of carnage that laid in the path, so pretty intense."

Coach Walsh said he spoke with his wrestlers after the crash and urged them to have compassion on the suspect. He told them holding on to the negative feelings would only make them a victim twice.

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