Five cyclists have been killed and a further four injured after a truck collided with a group out on a ‘retirement ride’.
On Thursday morning a group of 20 cyclists was hit by a box truck in Nevada, United States, with four men and one woman dying at the scene.
One of the four injured riders was taken by hospital by helicopter in a critical condition, the incident occurring at 9.40am and the highway they were riding on, just south of Boulder City, remaining closed until 6pm.
“It doesn’t appear to be impairment,” Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman Jason Buratczuk told USA Today of the cause of the incident. “It appears to be a tragic accident.”
The group had been accompanied by a support vehicle, which was equipped with lights to draw attention to the group. The driver of this vehicle was taken to hospital with injuries while the driver of the truck was not injured.
An employee of a local bike shop who knew a number of those on the ride says the ride was to honour one of the group who was retiring, and that a number of the group race professionally.
“They were on a retirement ride for one of the community cyclists,” Clay Weeks of Pro Cyclery bike shop said. “We’ve talked to a couple people who were on the ride. Obviously everybody is super upset and distraught. It’s pretty horrific that something like this would happen. There’s really no words.”
Weeks adds that he doesn’t know how a crash could have happened at that particular section of highway, with the hard shoulder of the road able to fit three cars in it.
“That shoulder on the side of that highway is wide enough to fit three cars,” Weeks said. “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?”