A Nevada judge reprimanded an Arizona trucker in court this week when he sentenced him to a minimum of 16 years in prison after his conviction in an accident last year that left five cyclists dead and four others injured.
Authorities determined that the defendant, 45-year-old Jordan Alexander Barson, was under the influence of methamphetamine when he crashed his truck into victims on Dec. 10 on Highway 95, according to reports.
“He didn’t have to drive,” Clark County District Judge Bita Yeager told Barson on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press.
The judge then read the names of the victims and spoke of the impact their deaths were having on “mothers, fathers, brothers, spouses, children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.”
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“Their lives are forever affected by their poor choice,” the judge told Barson, referring to the survivors, according to AP.
Jordan Alexander Barson, 45, was under the influence of methamphetamine when he crashed his truck into some bicyclists in Nevada last December, authorities say.
The cyclists who were struck were among a group of about 20 who made an annual trip from Las Vegas through a scenic desert area along the Nevada-California line, according to the report. The accident occurred between Boulder City and Searchlight in Nevada.
A day earlier, at the two-day sentencing hearing, Barson apologized for the accident and apologized, and his defense attorney Damian Sheets said that Barson did not intend to cause harm, according to the report.
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“Knowing that I caused the death of five people and seriously injured two others is unbearable most of the time,” Barson told the court. I want you to know that I am very sorry for what I have done. I know you will carry this pain forever, and it breaks my heart that I caused this.
Last December, Las Vegas residents Erin Michelle Ray, 39; Gerrard Suarez Nieva, 41; Michael Todd Murray, 57; Aksoy Ahmet, 48 years old; and Thomas Chamberlin Trauger, 57. Cyclists José Vásquez and Jerome Ducrocq were seriously injured.
Barson was also ordered to pay nearly $ 60,000 in restitution to the victims, the AP reported.
Associated Press contributed to this story.