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There are no words.
The victims had broken off from the main group, and were trailing an escort vehicle on the shoulder of Highway 95 near Searchlight to get some protection from the wind. They were trapped between the two vehicles when the truck driver inexplicably veered off the roadway.
All five died at the scene.
The Nevada Highway Patrol appeared to absolve the driver of any responsibility, saying it was just a tragic accident after concluding he was not under the influence.
Evidently, if you’re sober in Nevada you get a free pass, no matter how many people you kill.
Bike shop worker Clay Weeks knew many of the victims personally, as well as the crash site.
“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.”
It was not the first time those riders made the trip.
“These are people who ride 10,000 miles a year. Some race professionally,” Weeks said. “How did something like this mistakenly happen?”
The bicyclists were celebrating the recent retirement of Las Vegas police officer Michael Anderson.
The 22 years he spent as a cop before retiring in November couldn’t have prepared him for what he witnessed Thursday. “I’ve seen stuff, obviously as a police officer,” he said in a low voice, pausing and tearing up. “But it’s your friends … I’ve never seen that…
“It’s the worst thing I can ever see in my life,” he said, noting that he had contacted the victims’ families. “(I) didn’t know how to say it to them. It’s terrible.”
They’ve done the same 130-mile loop through Nevada and California for the past 15 years, with no incidents until yesterday’s crash.
A graphic from a Las Vegas paper explains how it happened.
— Don Kostelec (@KostelecPlan) December 11, 2020
What’s still unknown is why the driver left the roadway, and why he couldn’t see seven grown people on bicycles and a cars with its flasher on directly in front of him.
Let’s hope they subpoena the driver’s cell phone, and any onboard screens or entertainment system.
The identity of the victims was behind withheld until relatives could notified. However, one was identified by family and friends as a 43-year old woman from Las Vegas.
The tight knit Las Vegas bike community was in mourning Thursday as news of the crash spread rapidly through the city. A drive-through vigil will be held at a Las Vegas bike shop today.
Thanks to everyone who sent me links for this story. There’s far too many to thank individually, but I sincerely appreciate the help.
When is a protected bike lane not a bike lane?
When it becomes a parking space for city workers.
Although Oakland seems to have the same problem.
Any video game that lets you explore the world by bicycle has got to be a good one.
Sometimes it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.
An Akron, Ohio man was busted for robbing a store with a hatchet, before fleeing the scene on his bike. Or someone’s, anyway.
Good question. Streetsblog’s Joe Linton wants to know why streets can’t be closed off for bike riders, when LA officials don’t hesitate to close them for rich people.
A new study shows LA traffic collisions dropped a whopping 21% since the initial coronavirus shutdown.
No surprise here. Traffic volume is still down in Pasadena during the pandemic, but average speed are up.
Business is booming at a San Diego bike shop, despite being down two staffers due to the pandemic.
El Cajon’s Main Street is getting greener, literally and figuratively.
BMX riders catch big air at two-year old Sapwi Bike Park in Thousand Oaks, built as a partnership between the Concerned Off-Road Bicyclist Association and Conejo Recreation And Parks District.
Great idea. A group of San Francisco bike messengers are skipping the big app-based delivery services, and forming their own food delivery co-op. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the heads-up.
A writer for Clean Technica shares what it’s like to ride the new Harley Davidson ebike.
Speaking of motorcycle makers, Italian bikemaker Ducati is bringing their e-mountain bikes to an American motorcycle dealer near you.
Nevada’s new three-foot passing law hasn’t stopped bike riders from getting killed, with three deaths in the Las Vegas area in the previous three months. Make that eight in four months, now.
‘Tis the season. Police in Fayetteville, Arkansas teamed with a bike nonprofit to donate 100 bicycles to area kids.
An Illinois bike advocate and licensed cycling instructor says nothing will change until drivers slow down and pay attention, or face real consequences for their actions.
Life is cheap in Ohio, where a reckless driver who killed a prominent attorney as he rode his bike walked without a single day behind bars; he could have faced up to five years in prison.
A new documentary premiering today focuses on exploring Maine’s Acadia National Park by bicycle.
A writer for New York Streetsblog witnesses a bike rider get left hooked by a driver — and watches as the police let her go without so much as a warning.
A high-ranking Georgia state lawmaker has been indicted on charges of wrongly ignoring a fatal 2019 hit-and-run crash, after a friend called to say he’d just killed a bike rider and left him lying in a ditch.
‘Tis the season, too. A New Orleans motorcycle club is teaming with a local lawyer to give away 100 bicycles to kids between three and nine years old to share their love of riding on two wheels.
Cyclist pulls back the curtain on Specialized’s $1,000 full carbon balance bike, for the weight weenie toddler in your life.
Cycling Weekly looks at their favorite bicycles and accessories for 2020.
Toronto bicyclists took to the streets to remember the 15 bike riders killed in the city this year.
The European Union calls for doubling bicycle infrastructure as part of the continent’s Green New Deal. Then again, LA’s mayor made a similar climate fighting declaration, and you can see how that turned out.
Bicycling says it’s time to add Slovenia to your bike bucket list. You can make a pilgrimage to visit the shrine to Melania Trump while you’re at it. And yes, you can read the story on Yahoo if Bicycling blocks you.
Life is cheap in Singapore, where a Finnish expat was sentenced to a single week behind bars for crashing into a pedestrian while riding a bike; the victim died five days after the crash.
Cycling’s governing body has finally gotten around to adopting a new in-race concussion protocol for the 2021 season, assuming it actually happens.
The Bianchi bike Marco Pantani rode to the top of Mount Ventoux in the 2000 Tour de France, beating out a fellow doper from Texas, will find a new home in a museum dedicated to the late, great Italian cyclist after a consortium of Italian business people bought it for the equivalent of $87,000.
Cycling News says Justin Williams and the L39ION of Los Angeles cycling team has the power to change bike racing for the better by encouraging cultural diversity in the sport and opening doors for aspiring young riders.
Pro mountain biker Brett Rheeder won’t be riding anytime soon, after breaking his leg crashing at an indoor skate park in British Columbia.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already.