Trucker in crash that killed 5 bicyclists called ‘imminent hazard’

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A trucker being held in jail in connection with the death of five bicyclists and the injury of several others earlier this month has been ordered by the federal government to not drive a commercial vehicle.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last week declared Jordan A. Barson to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.  Barson was served the federal order Dec. 23. He is being held in the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas, and has his initial court appearance Wednesday, Dec. 30.

Jordan A. BarsonJordan A. Barson

On Dec. 10 Barson, who was employed by RoadRunner Transport AZ Inc., was operating a commercial truck on US 95 in Clark County, Nevada, when he struck seven bicyclists and the riders’ escort vehicle from the rear; five bicyclists were pronounced dead at scene.  Another bicyclist and the driver of the escort vehicle received incapacitating injuries and were transported to the hospital, according to the FMCSA.

Killed were four men and one woman—Gerrard Nieva, Aksoy Ahmet, Tom Trauger, Mike Murray, and Erin Ray. The cyclists were riding in the annual interstate 130-mile ride called the Nipton Loop on Dec. 10.

Barson was tested by Nevada Highway Patrol officers for controlled substances and was found positive for amphetamine, and – at a level almost 10 times the lawful amount permitted by Nevada state law – methamphetamine. He was charged with five counts of DUI resulting in death, one count of DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm, and six counts of reckless driving, according to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office.

An investigation of RoadRunner Transport AZ Inc., found that neither the carrier nor Barson maintained drivers’ records-of-duty status as required by federal regulations.

Barson and RoadRunner Transport AZ Inc., also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceedings brought by FMCSA for violations of the Agency’s safety regulations.