Truck Driver Crashes Into Cyclists, Killing 5 Outside Las Vegas

Five bicyclists were killed on Thursday morning when they were struck by a box truck on a highway outside Las Vegas, the authorities said.

The crash happened at 9:39 a.m. as a group of about 20 bicyclists were riding on the shoulder of U.S. 95 at mile marker 36 in Clark County, just north of Searchlight, N.V., according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The box truck left the roadway and hit the group from behind, and then struck a Subaru hatchback that was accompanying the cyclists and another group of cyclists that was in front of the Subaru, the Highway Patrol said.

In addition to the five cyclists killed, four people were injured, including one who was in critical condition, Trooper Jason Buratczuk, a Highway Patrol spokesman, said.

Trooper Travis Smaka, another Highway Patrol spokesman, said investigators did not know what had caused the driver to plow into the cyclists. The driver of the box truck stayed at the scene of the crash and was cooperating with the investigation, Trooper Smaka said.

Investigators do not believe that the driver was impaired by alcohol or drugs, he said, and no charges have been filed as the investigation continues.

The authorities have not released the names of those killed or the name of the driver. The speed limit on that portion of the highway is 75 m.p.h.

Bicycle rides account for only 1 percent of all trips in the United States, but cyclists face a higher risk of crash-related injuries and death than people in cars and trucks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that more pedestrians and cyclists had been killed in 2018 in the United States than in any year since 1990.

The number of pedestrians killed grew by 3.4 percent in 2018, to 6,283, and the number of cyclists killed rose by 6.3 percent, to 857, even as total traffic deaths decreased, the agency said. On average, about 17 pedestrians and two cyclists were killed each day in crashes.

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