Charges Filed in Horrific Nevada Crash

Driver who allegedly killed 5 cyclists charged with DUI
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2020 1:06 AM CST
Updated Dec 17, 2020 6:20 AM CST
Charges Filed in Horrific Crash
In this Dec. 10, 2020, file photo, Nevada Highway Patrol investigate the scene of a fatal crash involving multiple bicyclists and a box truck along U.S. Highway 95 southbound near Searchlight, Nev.   (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP, File)

Charges have been filed in the devastating Nevada crash that left five cyclists dead last week. Jordan Barson was charged Tuesday with five counts of DUI resulting in death, six counts of reckless driving resulting in death or substantial bodily harm, and one count of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. In body camera footage released Wednesday, an emotional Barson can be seen telling Nevada Highway Patrol troopers he doesn't remember the crash and must have fallen asleep behind the wheel. But authorities say he later admitted, after a blood test showed methamphetamine in his system, that he had taken the drug the day before the crash and then hadn't slept well that night. Troopers initially didn't think he was impaired, having smelled no alcohol on his breath.

But the level of meth found in his system was "extremely high" and "far exceeded" the amount that would cause impairment, authorities said when announcing charges, per the Las Vegas Sun. Barson was driving a box truck, on a route he regularly traveled completing deliveries, when he ran into the cyclists from behind, pushing them into their own safety escort vehicle. He also hit the vehicle itself, authorities say, and the driver of that vehicle was taken to the hospital in stable condition, the New York Times reports. The group of 18 riders had set out for an annual 130-mile ride, the so-called "Nipton Loop" from Henderson, Nev., to Nipton, Calif. Two other cyclists were also thrown from their bikes in the crash; one was critically injured. "I’m at a loss for words," the DA said of the crash. If convicted, Barson faces decades behind bars. (Read more Nevada stories.)

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