Lakeisha Holloway, 24, was charged with murder Tuesday after allegedly driving her car onto a sidewalk filled with Las Vegas tourists, killing one person and injuring more than 30 others. In the days since the incident, law enforcement officials are providing more information about what happened. But what's truly drawing attention is a video published by a Portland youth education and career training organization, which shows what Holloway said about turning her life around.
The Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center posted the video, called "Improving Life Chances," in 2012. The short film includes interviews with three people, including Holloway, who found help through the organization. "Five years ago, my biography sounded a lot different than it sounds today. Boy, have I come a long ways," Holloway says.
Holloway explains in the video that her mother, who suffered from alcoholism, always tried to do her best for Holloway and her sister. She stated that it was the circumstances of her family life and her mother's own struggles that led to Holloway becoming homeless at a young age:
I was a scared little girl who knew that there was more to life outside of crime, drug addiction, lower income, alcoholism, being undereducated — all of which were things I grew up being familiar with.
Holloway says that her mother kicked her out of the family's home when Holloway was a freshman in high school. She went on to graduate from Rosemary Anderson High School in Portland, Oregon and earn $17,000 in scholarship funds for college. Holloway was the first in her immediate family to graduate high school, and the first in her family to attend college.
Today, I am not the same scared girl I used to be. I'm a mature young woman who has broken many generational cycles that those before me hadn't.
Holloway received a job with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service at the age of 21, she explained. U.S. Forest Service employee Alan McGuire-Dale, also interviewed for the video, stated that he "could tell immediately ... that her [Lakeisha's] horizon was definitely aimed up a little bit higher than most."
Details of Holloway's life over the last three years are still unfolding. Police stated, however, that Holloway was allegedly homeless at the time of the accident, and was living out of the car with which she injured dozens. "She would not explain why she drove onto the sidewalk, but remembered a body bouncing off of her windshield," authorities said in the arrest report.
Holloway's criminal charges include murder with a deadly weapon, leaving the scene of an accident, and child abuse, neglect, or endangerment. Holloway reportedly had her three-year-old daughter in the back seat of her car.