On a highway trip to celebrate the retirement of a cyclist, five cyclists were killed and four others injured in a truck crash, according to authorities.
The accident occurred on a US aircraft 95 south of Boulder, said Jason Porachuk, a spokesman for the Nevada Highway Patrol.
At around 9:40 a.m., a box truck collided with a group of about 20 bicyclists. The authorities said that four men and a woman were killed at the scene.
The box truck remained at the scene for several hours after the collision, as authorities investigated the cause of the accident.
“That doesn’t appear to be a weakness,” Buratczuk said. “It appears to be a tragic accident.”
Among the four injured cyclists, a cyclist was airlifted to hospital in a helicopter in critical condition.
Porachuk said it appeared cyclists were part of an organized excursion. They had a vehicle chase with traffic lights.
The chase vehicle driver was injured and taken to hospital. The driver of the box truck was not injured.
US Highway 95 to the south will be closed until about 6 p.m., according to Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Elijah.
Clay Weeks, an employee of the Pro Cyclery bike store, knows several cyclists involved in the tragic accident.
“They were on a retirement trip for a cyclist in the community,” said Wicks. “We talked to two people who were on a trip. Everyone is clearly very upset and dumbfounded. It’s terrible if something like this happens. There are really no words.”
Tragedy stunned the tight-knit cycling community of Southern Nevada.
We all ride together, ”said Wicks.
Wicks is aware of the length of the road where the accident occurred. On Thursday, he struggled to imagine how the accident happened there.
“This shoulder on the side of the highway is wide enough to hold three cars,” said Wicks. “We don’t really know how someone managed to get off the road. These were all very experienced cyclists. It’s not like they accidentally sped off the road.”
This wasn’t the first time these riders had made the trip.
“These are the people who ride 10,000 miles a year. Some of them race professionally,” said Wicks. “How did something like this happen by mistake?”