5 Bicyclists Killed in Crash with Box Truck on Nevada Highway
About 20 cyclists were enjoying a ride in the Nevada desert on Thursday when a box truck crashed into them — killing five and injuring four more.
Erin Ray, Gerrard Nieva, Michael Murray, Aksoy Ahmet and Tom Trauger all died on the scene, fellow cyclist Michael Anderson shared in a GoFundMe campaign he created to raise money for his friends' funerals.
Anderson added that a man named Dave, who was providing the group with a support and gear vehicle and driving alongside them, was injured and that two other men, Jerome Ducrocq and Jose Vasguez, also survived but were injured.
The group had been riding along the Nipton Loop, about 130 miles — a route they cycle together every year.
The accident occurred around 9:40 a.m. on Thursday on U.S. Highway 95, near Searchlight, Nevada, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Searchlight is a small unincorporated town about 60 miles south of Las Vegas.
Nevada Highway Patrol is leading the investigation into the deadly crash, which is reportedly the worst in the state since at least 2004. The NHP did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Anderson, a retired Metropolitan Police Department officer, told the Review-Journal that the ride was going smoothly until the morning turned windy, prompting about seven cyclists to start riding behind the group's SAG vehicle.
Then, the box truck struck the cyclists that had fallen behind, and the escort car was pushed into the front group of cyclists.
"Basically, the speed of the box truck, when it hit the riders that were behind the SAG vehicle, basically pinned them between the truck and the vehicle," an emotional Anderson told KSNV News 3.
While it's unclear what led to the crash, authorities to not believe that impairment was involved, KSNV reported, and the truck driving is reportedly cooperating in the investigation.
Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak shared on Twitter that he was "devastated" after hearing the news of the crash.
"Kathy and I are sending all our love to the families affected and to those on the scene responding to the situation," he said.