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Sen. Harry Reid injured in Las Vegas car crash

By Lisa Mascaro and John M. Glionna, Tribune Washington Bureau –

WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was cleared for release from the hospital Friday after suffering non-life-threatening injuries when his caravan was involved in an afternoon collision on I-15 near the Strip in Las Vegas, officials said.

Reid, the top Democrat in the Senate, had been en route to a meeting at with a local Spanish-language newspaper when his multi-truck caravan and at least one other car were involved in the crash at 1:10 p.m. local time. The senator walked into University Medical Center in Las Vegas after being transported by those in his security detail caravan. He was treated for rib and hip contusions, his staff said.

“Senator Reid was taken to University Medical Center Hospital by his security detail as a precaution, and walked in on his own,” Reid’s office said in a statement. “He experienced rib and hip contusions and has been cleared for release by the doctors.”

One member of the senator’s staff and some in his security detail also suffered “minor injuries” and were evaluated at the hospital, the senator’s office said. The senator was wearing his seatbelt.

“The injuries do not appear to be life threatening,” said Trooper Loy Hixon, a spokesman for the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The cause of the crash just north of Sahara Avenue was not immediately available, but traffic appeared to be normal on the busy interstate that parallels the Strip. Friday was mild and sunny in Las Vegas, as Nevadans were celebrating the Nevada Day state holiday.

First lady Michelle Obama was in Las Vegas in town for an afternoon campaign vote event at a local middle school as President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney pursue the critical swing state where early voting is under way.

Reid, 72, had skipped the campaign event to attend the newspaper meeting, and has been in the state campaigning for Obama and the Democratic ticket. Congress is on recess in Washington.

Reid’s wife of more than 50 years, Landra, had joined the first lady for the campaign event, but she left after receiving word of the crash, the senator’s office said. Landra had suffered serious injuries in a collision two years ago as the senator was running for re-election to a fifth term when the vehicle she was in with their adult daughter was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer in the Washington, D.C., area.

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