58°F
weather icon Clear

No bail for driver charged in bicyclists’ deaths

A box truck driver accused of killing five Las Vegas bicyclists was ordered held without bail on Monday.

Authorities have said Jordan Barson, 45, was high on methamphetamine when he plowed into a group of bicyclists in Clark County on Dec. 10, killing five of them.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum called the Arizona man a “flight risk” and “danger to the community.”

Barson had nine times the amount of methamphetamine in his system needed to be legally considered impaired at the time of the Dec. 10 crash on U.S. Highway 95, near Searchlight, according to police and court reports.

He faces five counts of DUI resulting in death, two counts of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm and seven counts of reckless driving, court records show. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for 8 a.m. Jan. 21.

Killed in the crash were Las Vegas bicyclists Erin Michelle Ray, 39; Gerrard Suarez Nieva, 41; Michael Todd Murray, 57; Aksoy Ahmet, 48; and Tom Trauger, 57. Four others were injured, most seriously Jerome Ducrocq, who remained hospitalized in critical condition last week.

Deputy Public Defender Shane Zeller had asked the judge to set Barson’s bail at $20,000. The judge pointed out that Barson could face a maximum prison sentence of more than 100 years.

“I don’t think there’s any amount of money that can satisfy the safety of the community after the horrendous decision that we see that he made,” Baucum said.

The bicyclists were with a group of about 20 who set out from Henderson that morning to complete the roughly 130-mile Nipton Loop. All of the bicyclists who were killed or injured were seeking cover from the wind and riding behind the group’s safety escort vehicle when the box truck Barson was driving crashed into them, according to a Nevada Highway Patrol report.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said last week that Barson was been deemed “an imminent hazard to public safety” by the agency. A statement from the agency said that Barson had been served with a federal order on Dec. 23 barring him from operating any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

Barson holds a commercial driver’s license and was employed by RoadRunner Transport AZ Inc., of Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

The agency said it appears Barson and the transport company were not following federal regulations for transportation using commercial motor vehicles at the time of the crash.

Boulder City Review Editor Hali Bernstein Saylor contributed to this report.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Salary range, guidelines set for new city attorney, manager

The search for the next city manager and city attorney is a little more defined as City Council recently approved the salary range and compensation package for each position.

Purpose of proposed ballot question contested

City Council is divided on whether safety or growth is the purpose of a proposed ballot question about airport capital improvement projects and have yet to decide about moving forward with it.

Three announce plans to seek council seat

Candidate filing for Boulder City’s 2021 municipal election starts in less than two weeks and three residents have already announced their intention to run for city office.

Temporary staff check for COVID compliance

Boulder City is using temporary part-time code enforcement officers to help ensure that local businesses are complying with current health and safety guidelines for the pandemic.

Two council seats up for election

The 2021 municipal election will see residents voting to fill two seats on City Council as well as offer guidance on some community issues.

Old pet cemetery to remain intact

A new solar project will not infringe on the local pet cemetery put in place years ago by a longtime Boulder City resident.

Nevada’s road fatalities rose in 2020

Now that 2020 has come to a close, transportation officials hope the Las Vegas Valley can leave the “worst year ever” in its rear-view mirror.

Police raise awareness of 3-foot bicycle law to motorists

Local law enforcement agencies joined to raise awareness of Nevada’s “3-foot rule” for motorists during an enforcement event Dec. 30 on a trio of Summerlin roads.