LAS VEGAS, Nev. (702 Times, NV Globe) – Federal investigators said Wednesday that a drug-impaired and exhausted truck driver was the likely cause of a December 2020 incident on a Nevada highway that killed five bicyclists and wounded four more.
However, the National Transportation Safety Board’s final assessment on the disaster said that the motorcyclists’ decision to ride in the right traffic lane of a 75-mph highway about 60 miles (95 kilometers) south of Las Vegas was a contributing cause to the tragedy.
During an annual leisure trip across picturesque desert in Nevada and California, around 20 bicycles were riding into a stiff headwind.
The flat-faced truck smashed into bikers cycling behind a support SUV on U.S. 95 between Boulder City and Searchlight, Nevada, according to investigators.
The 45-year-old commercial truck driver, who was working for an Arizona-based courier business at the time, told officials that he fell asleep behind the wheel.
Blood testing, however, revealed that Jordan Alexander Barson had nine times the level of methamphetamine in his system that would suggest impairment, according to Clark County prosecutors.
In June 2021, Barson pled guilty to two charges of driving under the influence resulting in death and was sentenced to 16 to 40 years in prison.
Barson’s plea agreement averted a trial on 14 felony counts that might have landed him in prison for the rest of his life if he had been convicted.
The NTSB stated in its study that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must develop measures to prevent deaths, injuries, and collisions involving drug-impaired drivers.
The agency also stated that it supports a safe system approach to protecting vulnerable road users, such as bikers.
Credits: Fox 5 Vegas
Copyright 2022 702 Times, NV Globe. All rights reserved.
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