Five Nevada cyclists have been killed after a truck driver hit a group out for a ride to celebrate a police officer’s retirement. The cyclists were struck from behind, as was a Subaru hatchback that had been travelling with them as a ‘safety vehicle’.
The Reno Gazette reports that around 18 cyclists were travelling together when the crash occurred on US Highway 95 south of Boulder City at around 9.40am.
Four men and a woman were killed. Three more cyclists were injured, as was the driver of the Subaru.
Authorities said the cyclists were hit after the box truck driver crossed into the bike lane.
According to Trooper Travis Smaka, the safety vehicle had riders in front and also behind and when the truck rammed the group, the Subaru also went into some of those in front.
The truck driver, who wasn’t injured or suspected of being impaired, stopped at the scene.
One of the surviving cyclists, Michael Anderson, who had just retired after 22 years as a Metro Police officer said: “I’ve seen stuff, obviously as a police officer. But it’s your friends … I’ve never seen that.”
Anderson said that winds had broken the group up and that some riders had been sheltering behind the Subaru.
“It’s the worst thing I can ever see in my life,” he said, adding that he had contacted the victims’ families. “Didn’t know how to say it to them,” he said. “It’s terrible.”