What an unimaginable tragedy on what should’ve been a memorable day to celebrate a retirement. On a Thursday highway ride south of Boulder City, Nevada, 20 cyclists who had been out celebrating one of the group’s recent retirement were struck by a truck, according to local authorities. Five bicyclists were killed in the crash, and […]
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What an unimaginable tragedy on what should’ve been a memorable day to celebrate a retirement.
On a Thursday highway ride south of Boulder City, Nevada, 20 cyclists who had been out celebrating one of the group’s recent retirement were struck by a truck, according to local authorities. Five bicyclists were killed in the crash, and four others were seriously injured.
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According to the Nevada Highway Patrol, the crash happened at mile marker 35 on U.S. Highway 95 south near Searchlight, which is a far suburb on the south side of Las Vegas and just west of the Arizona border. Around 9:40 a.m. on Thursday, a box truck struck the group of cyclists; the names of those injured and deceased were not immediately released.
Authorities are still investigating exactly why the crash occurred, and may not have a preliminary report for another few days, per reports. Highway Patrol spokesman Jason Buratczuk told the Reno-Gazette Journal:
“It doesn’t appear to be impairment. It appears to be a tragic accident.”
Buratczuk also noted the bicyclists had apparently been part of a very well-organized ride, with an escort vehicle following them along with flashers blinking. The driver of that vehicle was also injured in the crash with the truck; the driver of the box truck was not injured, but stayed on scene after the accident while authorities investigated.
Clay Weeks, an employee at the Pro Cyclery bike shop in Las Vegas, spoke to the Reno Gazette-Journal about the close-knit community of cyclists in the area, and the group on that fateful ride. He said:
“They were on a retirement ride for one of the community cyclists. Obviously everybody is super upset and distraught. It’s pretty horrific that something like this would happen. There’s really no words. We all ride together.”
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Weeks also noted he is familiar with that particular stretch of rode near Searchlight, and said he couldn’t understand how an accident like that could ever happen there. He shared:
“That shoulder on the side of that highway is wide enough to fit three cars. We don’t really know how somebody managed to get that far off the road. These were all very very experienced cyclists. It’s not like they accidentally rode off and into the road. These are people who ride 10,000 miles a year. Some race professionally. How did something like this mistakenly happen?”
Local cyclists were already working on a vigil for those killed, as you can see (below):
One of the surviving cyclists apparently told authorities that riders were trying to circumvent strong winds at the time, and had been coasting behind the safety escort vehicle. They were then apparently struck from behind by the truck after it crossed over the lane line for an unknown reason.
Michael Anderson was one of the cyclists on the trip who was not injured, and he reported more about the events of the day to Las Vegas TV station KUUV. A retired Las Vegas police officer, too, Anderson has seen some things in his long law enforcement career — but nothing prepared him for the tragedy that unfolded on Thursday.
“This year was just at the wrong place, at the wrong time. I’ve seen stuff as a police officer in public service … when it’s your friends, I’ve never seen that. It’s the worst thing I could ever see in my life.”
Such a horrible, horrible tragedy. We can’t even imagine… our love and prayers go out to the families and friends of those injured and killed in this horrible accident.
[Image via KTNV/YouTube]
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Source: Perez Hilton https://perezhilton.com/truck-strikes-cyclists-five-dead-nevada/