Nevada prosecutors filed charges against an Arizona man who was behind the wheel of a truck that crashed into a group of bicyclists near Las Vegas, killing five of them, officials said Wednesday.
Jordan Alexander Barson, 45, was charged with five counts of driving under the influence, resulting in death, one count of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm and six counts of reckless driving.
A group of about 20 riders were pedaling south on U.S. Highway 95 on Thursday when Barson's truck hit them near Mile Marker 34, south of Boulder City and north of Searchlight, authorities said.
Shortly after the fatal crash, a Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman said it appeared impairment was not an issue. But in a Clark County criminal complaint, prosecutors said methamphetamine and/or amphetamine was found in Barson's blood.
The complaint did not include extensive details of blood test results, but said "however slight" the drugs may have been, they rendered Barson "incapable of safely driving and/or exercising actual physical control of a vehicle."
Barson was arrested in Arizona on Wednesday morning and he was being held in a Mohave County jail in Arizona, pending extradition, a spokeswoman for the Clark County District Attorney said.
It wasn't immediately clear if Barson had hired or been assigned an attorney.
"I'm at a loss for words," Clark Country District Attorney Steve Wolfson said in a statement. “I have said hundreds of times, to countless people, making the choice to get behind the wheel of a car when you are intoxicated is reckless. Those actions are unacceptable, and they have consequences. Tragically, this type of reckless behavior has left five people dead, several injured, and our community in mourning once again."
All five victims were Las Vegas residents: Erin Michelle Ray, 39; Michael Todd Murray, 57; Aksoy Ahmet, 48; Thomas Chamberlin Trauger, 57; and Gerrard Suarez Nieva, 41.