Driver who Killed Five Cyclists in Horror Crash was high on Methamphetamine
Jordan Barson faces multiple felony charges after he fell asleep and drove a box truck into a group of cyclists instantly killing five of them outside Las Vegas
A truck driver who slammed into a group of bicyclists, killing five, on a Nevada highway last week, has been charged with multiple felonies after he was found to have methamphetamine in his system.
The driver, Jordan Alexander Barson of Arizona, was charged with five counts of driving under the influence resulting in death, one count of driving under the influence resulting in substantial bodily harm, and five counts of reckless driving resulting in death.
Mr. Barson was driving an Isuzu box truck on U.S. 95, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas, on Thursday morning when he approached a group of about 20 cyclists who were being escorted by a Subaru Outback.
The cyclists, who were taking part in an annual 130-mile ride, had split into two packs — one riding in front of the Subaru and one riding behind it.
Seven cyclists were thrown from their bikes, killing five of them instantly,
The cyclists who were killed were named as Erin Michelle Ray, 39, Michael Murray, 57, Aksoy Ahmet, 48, and Thomas Chamberlin Trauger, 57, all of Las Vegas; and Gerrard Nievas, whose age and hometown were not listed.
Two injured bicyclists were taken to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, and the driver of the Subaru, David Merrill, also was injured, a third bicyclist was treated for minor injuries at the scene.
Mr. Barson, who was not injured, remained on the scene of the crash and spoke to investigators afterward. The man had told investigators after the Dec. 10 crash that he fell asleep at the wheel on southbound Highway 95 between Boulder City and Searchlight.. Blood tests showed he had nine times an allowable amount of methamphetamine in his system.
The cyclists had been taking part in an annual 130-mile ride across long stretches of highway from the M Resort Spa Casino in Henderson, Nevada to Nipton, Californaia and back.
The cyclists were struck from behind, as was a Subaru hatchback that had been travelling with them as a ‘safety vehicle’.
Around 18 cyclists were travelling together when the crash occurred on US Highway 95 south of Boulder City at around 9.40am.
Four men and a woman were killed. Three more cyclists were injured, as was the driver of the Subaru.
Authorities said the cyclists were hit after the box truck driver crossed into the bike lane.
According to Trooper Travis Smaka, the safety vehicle had riders in front and also behind and when the truck rammed the group, the Subaru also went into some of those in front.
The truck driver, who wasn’t suspected of being impaired, stopped at the scene.
One of the surviving cyclists, Michael Anderson, who had just retired after 22 years as a Metro Police officer said: “I’ve seen stuff, obviously as a police officer. But it’s your friends … I’ve never seen that.”
Anderson said that winds had broken the group up and that some riders had been sheltering behind the Subaru.
“It’s the worst thing I can ever see in my life,” he said, adding that he had contacted the victims’ families. “Didn’t know how to say it to them,” he said. “It’s terrible.”
Join The Virtual Ride In Support
Saturday, December 19th
7:00 AM PST – 3R Steady Ride – In memory of Nipton Loop Cyclists
This is a 3R Group Ride Event in memory of Nipton Loop Cyclists who recently passed away due to a tragic accident. The 3R ride leader Michael “Chikken” Anderson is organizing a fundraising page to gather funds for the deceased cyclist’s families.
Donations are being accepted to help ease the financial burden of the victim’s families.