Authorities say five two-wheelers were killed and several others were injured when a box truck struck their group Thursday in a “horrific tragedy” that erupted outside Las Vegas.
According to Nevada Highway Patrol trooper Travis Smacka, a group of cyclists were riding. A Subaru hatchback “safety car” collided with mile marker 36 on South American Highway 95 at around 9:30 p.m.
A Southern truck “entered a group of two-wheelers, some of whom were traveling in the back of a security vehicle, they were attacked, a security vehicle was hit, and some motorcyclists were in front of the safety vehicle,” Smaga said.
Five cyclists were reported dead at the scene, south of Boulder City and north of the searchlight. Authorities said a cyclist was seriously injured and was airlifted to the University Medical Center.
The Coroner / Medical Examiner’s Clark County Office said all five victims were residents of Las Vegas and identified them Friday afternoon: Erin Michael Ray, 39; Michael Todd Murray, 57; Akshoi Ahmed, 48; Thomas Chamberlain Draker, 57; And Gerard Suarez Neva, 41.
Four men and a woman were called in the crash, and they died of “several blatant force injuries,” the death penalty office said.
The injured truck driver was at the scene, cooperating with investigators, and officials said the defect did not appear to be an issue.
The longest stretch of Southern Highway 95 was closed soon and did not reopen until 3:15 p.m. Thursday, the Department of Transportation said.
“It was a terrible tragedy,” Smaka said. “When you had a beautiful sunny day like today, we lost five lives. It was a terrible tragedy. I can’t think of anything deeper than this.”
Highway 95 is a well-traveled route in southern Nevada that is often used by locals to get to Laughlin or Hawass Lake.
“I was devastated to hear this news this morning,” said Gov. Steve Sissolak Said in a statement. “Kathy and I extend our love to the families of the victims and those who respond to the scene.”