Man who pushed cyclist to her death also dies after falling out of van during 'senseless' prank

cycle lane
"Senseless is an understatement," Raymond Spencer of the local police told KSLV. Photo credit: Getty

Two people have been killed in a "senseless" Las Vegas prank gone wrong - both the victim and the perpetrator.

Last Sunday morning there were reports of several vehicles driving dangerously, local TV news station KSLV reported.

One was a Toyota Sienna minivan. A young man, later identified as 20-year-old Giovanni Medina Barajas, was hanging out one of the van's windows, trying to hit pedestrians as they drove past. 

The van eventually came across a cyclist - 56-year-old Michelle Weissman - and according to local paper the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Barajas pushed her to the ground. Witnesses attempted CPR, but were unsuccessful. 

The momentum of the push caused Barajas to fall out the van's window. Reports say he skid along the ground, hit his head on a lamppost and was also killed.

"Senseless is an understatement," Raymond Spencer of the local police told KSLV. 

"You have a woman who was out riding her bicycle and they pull up next to her and strike her, causing her to die. It's an absolute senseless act. There's no reason behind this that I can tell you why it occurred, other than complete stupidity."

The driver of the van, 22-year-old Rodrigo Cruz, told police he didn't stop the van because he thought his friend wasn't hurt, and he was on parole and feared being arrested. But police had no trouble locating him, because he parked the distinctive van - with a broken window and missing side mirror - at his house, not far from where the incident took place.

He denied deliberately driving near cyclists and pedestrians, but police said he would have had to be driving in the cycling lane for Barajas to reach Weissman. 

Cruz is being held on suspicion of murder and violation of parole, the Review-Journal reported.