LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — We are learning more about the crash that killed five local cyclists last week. Prosecutors tell 8 News Now the driver responsible had meth in his system.
The crash happened Dec. 10 on U.S. 95 near Searchlight, about 60 miles south of Las Vegas. The new developments are adding another layer of heartache for those closest to the cyclists killed — five bright lights, put out too soon.
Friends continue to drop off flowers and candles at a memorial in front of Las Vegas Cyclery, as they try to come to terms with this tragedy.
“We miss our friends every day,” said Shawn Tyrone, a close friend of the deceased cyclists. “There’s a lot of frustration, a lot of anger.”
Tyrone adds that what happened was completely avoidable.
“Someone made a choice, and that choice cost five of my friends their lives and irreparably ruined the lives of many more people,” he lamented.
Nevada Highway Patrol (NHP) says 45-year-old Jordan Barson was arrested Wednesday morning in Arizona. Barson is being charged with six counts of felony DUI and six counts of reckless driving.
Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson told us that Barson fell asleep and had a significant amount of methamphetamine in his system when he veered into the cyclists.
“That’s a deadly combination,” Wolfson said. “He took lives. He devastated the cycling community and all of Las Vegas, I mean people are affected by this.”
The impact this loss has had on the community is evidence by the growing “Ghost Bike” memorial outside Las Vegas Cyclery. Ghost Bikes Las Vegas founder Pat Treichel says his organization, and the cycling community at large, want to focus on improving safety for cyclists through education and legislation.
“We’re hoping for signage to remind people what to do,” Treichel said. “We will be setting more Ghost Bikes as a visual reminder.”
Billboards put up around town honor the lives lost and also direct people to a memorial fund. Tyrone says the main mission right now is help the victims’ families.
“It’s showing up and making sure that they have what they need,” Tyrone said.
If convicted, Barson could face a lengthy prison sentence. Right now, he is still in Arizona, waiting to be extradited back to Nevada.
For more information on how you can help the victims and their families, click here.