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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.

Sutton-Wasmund co-owned a dress shop called The Dazzled Dame and had been in Las Vegas attending a trade show with her partner in the shop, said Debbie Tvedt, the office manager for a Maple Valley plumbing company, All Service Plumbing, that Sutton-Wasmund started with her husband, James Wasmund.

“It’s a big loss,” Tvedt said tearfully in a telephone interview with The Associated Press Friday night. “This woman was everything to this community.

“Sandi was very, very, very active with the Maple Valley Chamber of Commerce and our entire community,” she said.

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.

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.

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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.