MAPLE VALLEY, Wash. – A Maple Valley woman was the passenger in a taxi cab involved in a fiery crash in Las Vegas Thursday.
Sandi Sutton-Wasmund of Maple Valley was among three people who died after a violent scene played out on the Vegas strip.
There was an altercation involving a man named Kenny Cherry in the valet area at the Aria resort-casino. It escalated and spilled into the street in the pre-dawn hours Thursday, according to police.
Investigators said Cherry was driving northbound on Las Vegas Boulevard in a silver Maserati when he was hit by gunfire from someone inside a black Range Rover. Cherry’s car spun out of control into a taxi cab and several other cars. The taxi cab caught fire. Cherry was pronounced dead.
Michael Boldon was driving the taxi, and his one passenger was Sutton-Wasmund. The two innocent victims did not survive.
Sutton-Wasmund worked with the Maple Valley Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce. She also co-owned a Maple Valley boutique called The Dazzled Dame. Her friends remembered her Friday night.
"She was the heart and soul of our community," said Sue VanRuff, the Executive Director of the Maple Valley Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce.
Sutton-Wasmund was described as a tireless volunteer.
"She was a great teammate and could always be counted on to help, whether it was staying up all night as a volunteer for the annual Hooked on Fishing Derby at Lake Wilderness or making phone calls and ringing doorbells to ask voters to support Tahoma levy measures," said friend Kevin Patterson.
She made many friends and overcame many obstacles. She lost her mother and sister to breast cancer. She was a two time breast cancer survivor, according to family friends Gary and Mindy Habenicht.
"I cannot believe she is gone," said Mindy who added that the 48-year-old mother of three always lived life to the fullest.
"I know she was a first round draft choice in heaven today," said Gary. "She was something else. We will miss her."
Sutton-Wasmund's family issued this statement:
"On behalf of Sandi’s family, Sandi was a loving wife, mother, daughter and sister. Her innocent and tragic loss will be felt by all of those who knew and loved her and by the community at large. Her family appreciates the outpouring of love and support, and respect for privacy shown throughout this very difficult time."
Sutton worked for the Maple Valley Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce. Executive Director Sue VanRuff released this statement Friday evening:
“Words cannot express our loss and grief. Sandi exemplified the heart and soul of our community. She was much loved.”