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215 Wrong -Way Driver

todayFebruary 8, 2022 11

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215 Wrong -Way Driver

By Hannah Dunbar


On Friday, Jan 28, the LVMPD received multiple calls of a wrong-way driver on the 215 highway that crashed into several vehicles and nearly hit two pedestrians. A twitter user, Brian Ahuja, posted a video of the driver in action as cars were trying to swerve around him to avoid getting hit.


The police arrested the driver who was in what was described to be a bronze 4-wheel station wagon, which was near the I-215 eastbound just south of Sahara. No injuries were reported and the 215 reopened around 4pm.


Police stated that he was driving against oncoming traffic when he crashed into an occupied minivan. After revving up his engine and leaving behind a large cloud of white smoke, he then crashed into another occupied vehicle.


The driver was 51-year old, Daniel Assef- who faces charges of attempted murder, DUI, and battery with a deadly weapon. He was booked into the Clark County Detention Center.


Daniel Assef told the police that he purposely hit two vehicles in the west valley and attempted to run over a married couple, a man and a woman, who were riding bicycles. The two cyclists were riding near the Beltway and Charleston boulevard. That’s when Assef aimed directly at them into the sidewalk, but managed to barely miss them. Assef started to pull the car back in reverse and tried to run over the women with the car. The woman managed to move out of the way and neither of them were injured.


Assef also has had previous DUI’s and this is now his third one. Las Vegas Court records show that he had a DUI case in August of 2020; however, the prosecutors declined to pursue charges. His first DUI was in 2016.


In the court hearing Tuesday, Feb. 1, Assef told the judge that the ghost of Dale Earnhardt told him to drive the wrong way on the freeway. He explains that the “ghost” told him to do this so he could get the attention of Mayor Carolyn Goodman in order to bring NASCAR back to Las Vegas. Dale Earnhardt was a famous NASCAR driver who passed away more than two decades ago. It is also worth noting that NASCAR already races in Las Vegas.


It was also noted by Judge Ann Zimmerman that Assef reportedly had heroin and methamphetamine in his system at the time of the crash.


Prosecutors requested a $200,000 bail for Assef, including alcohol monitoring and a driving ban. The judge set his bail at $500,000 telling him that Assef is a danger to the community and he should not be driving at all.


Daniel Assef is currently awaiting a competency hearing slated for Feb. 25, according to the Las Vegas Justice Court records.


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