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Driver in crash that killed 5 cyclists south of Las Vegas sentenced to 16 years


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    LAS VEGAS, NV (KVVU) — A district court judge on Wednesday handed down a sentence for the box truck driver in a crash that killed five cyclists last year on the U.S. 95 near Searchlight.

Judge Bita Yeager sentenced Jordan Barson to an aggregate 16 to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to two charges of DUI resulting in death. At the time of the Dec. 10, 2020 crash, investigators said Barson had more than nine times the amount of methamphetamine to be considered legally impaired.

Killed were Las Vegas residents Erin Michelle Ray, 39, Gerrard Suarez Nieva, 41, Michael Todd Murray, 57, Aksoy Ahmet, 48, and Thomas Chamberlin Trauger, 57.

Bicyclists Jose Vasquez and Jerome Ducrocq were seriously injured.

The judge also issued fines of $2,000 per count and ordered restitution of $58,000 to be paid to families of three of the five cyclists who were killed.

Before she gave the sentencing, Yeager acknowledged Barson, who said during his sentencing trial that he would like to use his experience to help others. But the judge concluded that she had to take into consideration the effect that Barson’s actions had on the cyclists’ families and community.

“Their lives are forever affected because of that poor choice. I also know the devastating effects this has had on cycling community … it is a tragedy when one cyclists dies … but when there are five who died, two seriously injured, that is a catastrophe. And I know that that poor choice has rippled throughout cycling community,” Yeager said.

Yeager added that after releasing from prison and from any parole or probation, Barson must have interlock devices installed on any motor vehicle owned or operated by him for 12 to 36 months. She also noted that Barson will receive credit for 170 days already served at the Clark County Detention Center.

“Knowing I caused the deaths of five people and severely hurt two others is unbearable most of the time,” Barson told the court. “I want you to know that I’m so truly sorry for what I’ve done. I know you will carry this pain forever, and it breaks my heart that I caused this.”

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Dominique Newland

Dominique joined KYMA in June 2019 as a Sunrise anchor. She was born in New Jersey but raised in Carmel, Indiana.

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