Five bicyclists killed, four more injured by runaway box truck

Investigators are calling it a "tragic accident."

A box truck crashed through a group of bicyclists on Thursday morning, killing five and injuring four. 

The accident happened on December 10th at 9:39 a.m. in Clark County, Nevada just outside of Las Vegas. 

According to The New York Times, a group of approximately 20 bicyclists were riding on the shoulder of  Highway 95 at mile marker 36 when a box truck swerved off of the highway and drove through the rear of the group, striking a Subaru accompanying the bicyclists and pushing it into the riders traveling ahead of it. 

Five bicyclists were killed in the wreckage and four more were seriously injured. One remains in critical condition. 

Police say they are unsure as to why the box truck left the roadway, but that they do not believe drugs or alcohol were involved. The unnamed driver remained on the scene and cooperated with officers, but the incident is still under investigation. 

“It doesn’t appear to be impairment,” Nevada Highway Patrol spokesman Jason Buratczuk said. “It appears to be a tragic accident.” 

Locals familiar with the area say that this roadway is a common route for bicyclists and that a tragedy like this shouldn’t have happened. 

“It’s a road that typically would be safe,” said Clay Weeks, who works at Pro Cyclery, a bike shop in Las Vegas. 

“The shoulder is plenty wide to ride out there. It’s not a narrow, sketchy road,” he continued, adding that one of his co-workers was in the group at the time of the wreck. They were unhurt in the incident, but Weeks described them as “very emotionally hurt.”

“That shoulder on the side of that highway is wide enough to fit three cars,” Weeks continued to USA Today. “We don’t really know how somebody managed to get that far off the road. These were all very very experienced cyclists. It’s not like they accidentally rode off and into the road.”

Weeks went on to say that the group had been on a 155-mile ride in celebration of a member’s retirement from the police force. 

“Everyone is just devastated,” he said. “Hopefully this opens eyes for people and will make them more vigilant of cyclists on the road because stuff like this happens way too often in the community.”