BOULDER CITY, Nev. (AP) — Five bicyclists were killed and three others injured in a crash Thursday involving a box truck on U.S. Highway 95 south of Boulder City, Nevada Highway Patrol officials said.
Authorities said the truck driver remained on the scene and commercial units were called to inspect the vehicle’s brakes, tires and overall function following the 9:40 a.m. crash.
Nevada Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Illia said the truck allegedly hit a safety escort vehicle that was following the group of about 20 bicyclists. Officials had initially reported that four people were injured, not including those who died.
One of the surviving cyclists said a handful of riders were trying to circumvent strong winds by coasting behind the safety vehicle.
The cyclists were struck from behind by the truck after it crossed into the bicycle lane for an unknown reason, according to authorities.
Highway Patrol officials said the driver wasn’t believed to have been impaired at the time of the crash. The driver’s name wasn’t immediately released.
Video from the scene showed a white box truck stopped on the side of the highway with front-end damage.
Authorities said five bicyclists died at the scene. Their names weren’t immediately released.
They said one of the injured bicyclists was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition while another was transported by ambulance and was in serious condition. A third bicyclist suffered minor injuries.
Michael Anderson was one of the cyclists who wasn’t injured. He said the group of friends was gearing up for a nearly 130-mile ride traversing parts of Nevada and California as they have done for the past 15 years.
“We do this Nipton Loop every year, no problems,” Anderson told Las Vegas TV station KUUV. “This year was just at the wrong place, at the wrong time.”
Anderson, who was a Las Vegas police officer for 22 years before retiring last month, was emotional at the crash scene.
“I’ve seen stuff as a police officer in public service … when it’s your friends, I’ve never seen that,” Anderson said. “It’s the worst thing I could ever see in my life.”