The young mother accused of deliberately mowing down nearly 40 people on a Las Vegas Strip was once honored for turning her life around in spite of challenging circumstances that would defeat the most strong-willed of persons.
Lakeisha Holloway, 24, was once lauded for overcoming lifelong struggles to become the first in her family to go to college.
“Boy, have I come a long ways,” Holloway said in a 2012 Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center video.
“Today, I am not the same scared girl I used to be. I am a mature, young woman who has broken many a generational cycle that those before me hadn’t.”
Just three short years after her testimonial, Holloway faces murder charges after she allegedly plowed her car into a sidewalk full of people Sunday night, killing one person and sending dozens more to the hospital.
Three victims suffered critical head wounds.
Her three-year-old daughter sat in the backseat of the car during the alleged hit-and-run.
She had come to Las Vegas about a week earlier, where police said she and her daughter had been living out of her car, an unfortunate repetition of history.
“It was all a struggle for her,” Holloway said in 2012 of her own mother’s issues and battle with alcoholism. “As a result of things becoming too hard for her, I became homeless.”
As a homeless freshman, her grade point average fell to 1.41, but with help from the center, Holloway was able to better herself.
“Needless to say I beat the odds and was the first in my immediate family and circle to graduate high school. Not only did I graduate, I left with a 3.40 (GPA) and $17,000 in scholarships,” she said.
She went on to land a job at the U.S. Forest Service when she was 21 years old, around the time she gave birth to her daughter.
“Little did I know this job would begin to help write a new chapter in my life,” Holloway said.
Holloway is being held without bail and is on suicide watch. She will be charged with murder with a deadly weapon, officials said.
Her daughter is being cared for by child protective services.