The driver who killed five cyclists and injured four after hitting a group out on a ‘retirement ride’ has been found to have had methamphetamine in his system.
Jordan Alexander Barson, from Arizona, has been 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.
Barson was driving a box truck 60 miles south of Las Vegas when he came across a group of 20 cyclists who were being escorted by another car and taking part in an annual 130-mile ride.
The area of highway where the cyclists were hit has a speed limit of 75mph but is generally known to be safe for cycling due to it having a large hard shoulder.
“I’m at a loss for words,” district attorney Mr Wolfson said in a statement. “I have said hundreds of times, to countless people, making the choice to get behind the wheel of a car when you are intoxicated is reckless. Those actions are unacceptable, and they have consequences. Tragically, this type of reckless behavior has left five people dead, several injured, and our community in mourning once again.”
A memorial fund has been set up in memory of the five cyclists who lost their lives, with over $200,000 raised at the time of writing.
“The pain and sadness of the victims’ family and fellow riders is felt by the nation. Donate toward the Family Relief Fund,” tweeted American ex-pro George Hincapie.
His former team-mate Lance Armstrong also joined fundraising efforts, donating $5,000 to the cause.
“Let’s all pass the hat and help where we can,” Armstrong tweeted. ‘The crew at The Move will kick things off with five grand. Thinking of all the families affected – our deepest condolences.”