‘‘Everybody just loved him,’’ the older sister said. ‘‘When that car hit that cab, Mike had to be in there talking and laughing.’’
The irony that a man with a taste for beautiful cars was killed by a sports car wasn’t lost on Trimble.
‘‘He would be tickled to death: ‘Damn, of all things, a Maserati hit me, took me out like that,'’’ she said. ‘‘I'm happy he didn’t suffer.’’
The county medical examiner said both Boldon and his passenger, Sutton-Wasmund, died of blunt force injuries and that their deaths were being treated as homicides. The 48-year-old woman was from Maple Valley, Wash.
Debbie Tvedt is the office manager at a Maple Valley plumbing company that Sutton-Wasmund started with her husband, James Wasmund. Tvedt called the death ‘‘a big loss’’ and added tearfully, ‘‘This woman was everything to this community.’’
Tvedt said Sutton-Wasmund co-owned a dress shop called The Dazzled Dame and had gone to Las Vegas with her partner in the shop for a trade show.
The Maple Valley-Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce website said Sutton-Wasmund was a board member from 2004 to 2011 before becoming a marketing representative.
Tvedt said her friend was a mother of three — a 17-year-old son, a 12-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son.
‘‘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,’’ said a statement provided to KING-TV in Seattle on behalf of the woman’s family. ‘‘Her family appreciates the outpouring of love and support, and respect for privacy, shown throughout this very difficult time.’’
A phone message left for James Wasmund was not immediately returned.
Besides Cherry’s passenger, police said five people were treated for injuries after the six-vehicle crash. No one was said to face life-threatening injuries.
Jogger Eric Lackey snapped a cellphone photo of the blazing scene moments after the crash. Black smoke billowed from the flaming taxi, amid popping sounds from the fire.
The famously glowing, always-open Las Vegas Strip was closed for some 15 hours before reopening Thursday night. One Nevada Highway Patrol sergeant recalled a similarly long closure after the 1996 drive-by slaying of rapper Tupac Shakur.
That shooting — involving assailants opening fire on Shakur’s luxury sedan from a vehicle on Flamingo Road — happened about a block away from Thursday’s crash.
The Shakur killing has never been solved.
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writer Garance Burke in San Francisco; AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu in New York; and researchers Judith Ausuebel, Jennifer Farrar and Lynn Dombek in New York.