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Coroner IDs woman killed in 9-car-pile-up at Cheyenne, Jones

LAS VEGAS -- The Clark County Coroner's Office has released the name of the woman killed in a 9-car-pile-up Friday.

Ellen Gallucci, 56, of Las Vegas died from multiple blunt force traumas due to an accident, according to Clark County Coroners. She was driving in an SUV with her dog when they were struck by another vehicle at the intersection of Cheyenne Avenue and Jones Boulevard, police say.

On Saturday morning, officers released the names of the driver and the passenger who they say caused the deadly crash that injured many more.

Police said it all unfolded around 3:30 p.m. when officers stopped a car, driven by Kenneth Rankin, 32, at Rainbow Boulevard and Cheyenne Avenue. Capt. Peter Boffelli of Metro Police said when officers started getting out of their squad car to approach the 2012 Dodge Challenger, the Rankin sped away with his passenger, 48-year-old James Bennett in tow.

“They were stunned when the vehicle took off from them,” Capt. Boffelli of Metro Police said.

There wasn't a chase or pursuit of any kind, but as the driver was fleeing the scene he ran a red light at Cheyenne and Jones, Capt. Boffelli said. Officers said the Dodge struck the front of a 1993 Crown Victoria driven by 88-year-old George Powell. His 85-year-old wife was a passenger.

Police said the Crown Vic was going southbound through the intersection, and it had the green light when it was struck.

However, the first crash didn't slow the driver.

Officers said the Challenger continued going and struck the left side of a 2000 Nissan Xterra, which was driven by Gallucci. The Xterra was going northbound through the intersection on a green light when it was hit. Gallucci died at the scene.

The Dodge Challenger and the Nissan Xterra then struck a 2000 Toyota Rav4 that was also northbound on Jones Boulevard. The force of the impact from the Dodge caused both the Nissan and Toyota to rollover, police said.

There were five other vehicles that were stopped for a red light facing the westbound direction on Cheyenne Avenue when the Dodge Challenger, Nissan

Xterra and Toyota Rav4 struck them in almost a domino effect. Detectives said overall the traffic violation caused a nine-car pile-up.

One of the victims was transported to Mountain View Hospital, and the others were taken to UMC. Rankin, the driver of the Dodge Challenger, was booked in absentia and is in police custody at an area hospital.

This was the 11th traffic-related fatality in the LVMPD's jurisdiction for 2015.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: Police originally said Torrey Pines was the cross-street.