"It's very devastating for us, for my family," said Tehran Boldon, 50, younger brother of the 62-year-old taxi driver. "Our family has no history of violence or gang membership that would predict losing a family member to such an event."
Boldon's sister, Carolyn Jean Trimble, said Boldon was a father, a grandfather and a car enthusiast. He was one of five children born and raised in Michigan, where he took care of his ailing father, who fought cancer, before moving to Las Vegas to be with his 93-year-old mother.
Bolden had owned a clothing store in Detroit and worked at a car dealership, his sister said. He began driving taxis after moving to Las Vegas about 1 1/2 years ago.
Boldon loved watching IndyCar and NASCAR races and drove a Mercedes when he wasn't in a cab. An avid car enthusiast, he tried to persuade Trimble to buy a Bentley, she said.
"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.