October 26, 2012

Sen. Reid leaves hospital after Vegas car crash

The Senate Majority Leader suffered rib and hip contusions in the six-car crash.

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was discharged from the hospital less than three hours after an apparent rear-end crash Friday afternoon on a Las Vegas freeway, a hospital spokeswoman said.

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This cell phone image from the scene shows damage to a vehicle in the motorcade that was transporting U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., on Interstate 15 near Sahara Avenue in Las Vegas on Friday, Oct. 26, 2012. A University Medical Center spokeswoman says Reid is in good condition, but declined to provide specifics on injuries. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mike Blasky)

AP

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In this Sept. 4, 2012 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. Troopers say Reid has been taken to the hospital after what appears to be a rear-end crash on an interstate through Las Vegas. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Reid suffered rib and hip contusions in the crash that happened about 1:10 p.m. Friday on Interstate 15, staffers said. He was taken to the hospital by his security detail as a precaution. Troopers had earlier reported he was transported by ambulance.

Reid, 72, was wearing a seatbelt at the time of impact and walked into the hospital on his own, according to a statement from his office.

A members of Reid's staff and other people in the senator's security detail had minor injuries and were taken to the hospital for evaluation, the statement said.

Six vehicles were involved in the apparent chain-reaction crash, including two Las Vegas police vehicles and two capitol police vehicles that were escorting Reid. Images from the scene showed broken glass, bumper damage and deflated tires on some of the vehicles.

Two lanes were closed and four tow trucks were summoned to the freeway that runs parallel to the Las Vegas Strip, said Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman Jeremie Elliott.

Officials in Reid's office said he was headed for an interview with Spanish-language newspaper El Mundo at the time of the crash. He had also planned to meet with another Spanish-language newspaper, El Tiempo, a little later in the afternoon.

It wasn't clear whether the accident would alter any of Reid's other plans for the day, spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said.

Earlier, Reid took part in a ceremony honoring the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas as the newest "national" museum. The museum's exhibits focus on the history of the development and testing of a nuclear bomb.

Reid's wife, Landra, was speaking at a Las Vegas event featuring first lady Michelle Obama at roughly the time the crash happened, but she was not involved and made no mention of the incident in her remarks.

In March 2010, Reid's daughter, Lana, and wife were injured when a tractor-trailer slammed into their minivan while they were returning from a shopping trip in Virginia. Landra Reid was left with a broken back, neck and nose and her daughter suffered minor injuries.

Harry Reid, who has served as state legislator, lieutenant governor, congressman and five-term senator, has been majority leader since 2007.

As the top Democrat in the Senate, he helped steer President Barack Obama's health care overhaul to passage in 2010 and secured his own re-election later that year, a surprise win in a Republican wave. Reid defeated tea party-backed candidate Sharron Angle despite early prognostications that the Democrat was one of the most vulnerable in the congressional elections.

The past two years, with Republicans controlling the House, Reid has thwarted the House GOP, protecting Obama's agenda and angering Senate Republicans.

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