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November 23, 2014

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Highway Patrol: Illegal driving on shoulder preceded deadly I-15 wreck

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Steve Marcus

Northbound lanes of Interstate 15 are closed after a multi-car accident near Charleston Boulevard during rush hour Wednesday, July 16, 2014.

The nine-vehicle crash that killed a woman Wednesday on Interstate 15 began when the driver of the car she was in swerved while driving illegally on the shoulder to avoid a parked car.

According to a Nevada Highway Patrol investigation, Kiya Musa, 45, was sitting in the passenger seat of a white Toyota Camry driven by Las Vegas resident Muhina Muya, 47, as it was traveling north on the interstate’s shoulder around 4:03 p.m. There were several other vehicles, including a semitruck, ahead and in the lanes to the left of the Camry.

Traffic was congested at the time due to a crash just south of the Charleston Boulevard exit, so speeds were reduced, according to NHP Trooper Loy Hixson. The exact motive for Muya driving on the shoulder is unknown, but investigators suspect he was trying to pass cars out of impatience.

According to the Highway Patrol: Muya was traveling at a faster speed than other cars when a Freeway Service Patrol van parked on the shoulder ahead came into view. He veered to the left to avoid the van, but the Camry started spinning counter-clockwise and hit a Hummer H2 in the lane to the left. Muya’s Camry flipped and landed on top of another Camry just ahead of the Hummer. Muya’s Camry then separated from the car and continued sliding on its roof across the traffic lanes and stopped.

By the end of the accident, nine vehicles were involved.

Musa was found in the overturned Camry hours after the crash. She was pronounced dead on the scene.

Muya was freed from the Camry by first-responders and transported to University Medical Center in critical condition. He has since been released but could face reckless driving charges, Hixson said.

The driver and two passengers of the other Camry were transported to UMC with minor injuries, the Highway Patrol reported.

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