Crime scene tape surrounds the scene of a hit-and-run crash near a church in North Las Vegas on Aug. 8, 2013. (FOX5)
Nyakueth Tear (NLVPD)
NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV (FOX5) -
An 18-year-old Utah woman is facing hit-and-run charges, after she allegedly plowed into a crowd of people leaving a North Las Vegas church Thursday night.
Police said they suspect Nyakueth Tear was under the influence of drugs, when the incident occurred.
Eight people are recovering from injuries, one of whom remains hospitalized in critical condition at University Medical Center (UMC).
Lorenzo Alavez's family remains at UMC, waiting for him to regain consciousness. Alavez has been in and out of surgery, for swelling on his brain.
Doctors don't know at this point if he will make it or not. If he does live, he will likely need long-term care.
"It's sad. You don't think this could happen. It just hits you all at once," said Luis Alavez, Lorenzo Alavez's son.
Luis Alavez, 14, is doing the best he can after witnessing his father, mother, sister, brother and nephew get hit by a speeding car, as they left Iglesia De Cristo church on Losee Road, near Lake Mead Parkway.
"It just came really fast. My nephew said ‘watch out!' He pushed me a little bit towards the back, so I wouldn't get hit, and I just saw them all get hit," Luis Alavez said.
Luis Alavez wasn't hit. He called 911 immediately. His family's injuries ranged from broken ankles to broken teeth. His father by far suffered the worst injuries.
"He hit the back of his head with the glass, and the glass cracked. I just saw everyone roll off the car," Luis Alavez said.
Police said Tear stopped her Mitsubishi briefly, after striking the victims, before speeding off. She didn't stop, until she hit a piece of construction equipment nearby.
When she was finally caught on foot, near Interstate 15, police said Tear lied about her name and claimed to have been living out of her car for the past week.
"The driver didn't have a driver's license, and didn't have insurance, and now the family is stuck with the bills," said family member Julio Alavez.
Julio Alavez said Lorenzo Alavez is unemployed, and that the family is struggling financially.
"Our biggest focus is our family, my uncle in the hospital. I think that's the most important thing right now. I have faith justice will be served," Julio Alavez said.
The family said that the other three victims, including a pregnant woman, are family friends who belong to the same church group. Those victims have been released from the hospital, the pregnant woman and her child said to be OK.
Tear was booked into Las Vegas City Jail on eight counts of felony hit-and-run, and eight counts of failing to render aid. She could be facing DUI charges, pending the results of a blood test.
An account has been set up at Wells Fargo bank, to help the family with medical bills. The account number is 2714787757.
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