LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – One of the drivers and the victim of a deadly racing-related crash in south Las Vegas have been identified as sisters, according to an arrest report.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department initially responded to the crash at 1:41 a.m. on Feb. 21 on East Silverado Ranch Boulevard, east of Bermuda Road.

It was determined that an orange 2022 Chevrolet Camaro and a maroon 2023 Mazda MX5 were traveling eastbound on Silverado Ranch at a high rate of speed. The two cars eventually collided and spun in opposite directions. The Chevrolet struck a retaining wall, while the Mazda struck a light pole and a tree, according to LVMPD.

Initial reports stated that the passenger of the Mazda was “unable to get out of the vehicle” and was “not responsive.” A witness would later tell police that the passenger appeared to be “bleeding from the head.”

Arriving officers located a witness at the scene, who told police the vehicles appeared to be “racing or messing around” as they drove from the general area of South Point Casino.

The driver of the Camaro was identified by police as Jonathan Gallagher, 24, who was riding by himself. The Mazda’s driver was identified as Melissa Dettlaff, 26. She also informed police that the passenger of the Mazda was her sister, Jessica Dettlaff, 24, who was confirmed dead at the scene.

Gallagher was transported to UMC for minor injuries after passing a sobriety test. Dettlaff was also transported to Sunrise Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash.

“During close contract, while Melissa Dettlaff was lying on a gurney, Officer Ibara detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from her person,” the report notes.

Due to medical limitations, Dettlaff was unable to complete a sobriety test, and two blood draw samples were taken one hour apart. The results of those tests are still pending, according to police.

Both Dettlaff and Gallagher admitted to police that they had been at Distill Bar before the collision. Officers interviewed an employee at the bar, who confirmed that the three individuals were present at the bar before the crash.

Additionally, an investigation at the crime scene revealed that the highest reported speed of the Camaro was above 90 miles per hour, while the highest speed of the Mazda was above 80 miles per hour.

Both Gallagher and Dettlaff are facing charges of reckless driving resulting in death or bodily harm, and participating in a “speed contest.” Dettlaff would also potential face DUI resulting in death charges, pending analysis of the gathered blood samples.

According to court records, Gallagher posted bail on Feb. 22, the day after the crash. He is due back in court on Wednesday, March 27.

Dettlaff has also posted bail, and was released from custody on electronic monitoring. A judge also ordered that she is not allowed to drive.

She is due back in court on Tuesday, March 26.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *