LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Finding accountability after a tragedy. The man who drove a box truck into a group of cyclists last year, killing five people, has been sentenced.
Jordan Barson will be in prison for 16 to 40 years in prison. The victims' families say they are pleased with the judge’s decision.
“I’m standing here today with his ashes around my neck. Nothing is the same without him," said Jasmine Ahmet, fighting back tears, of her father. She's the daughter of Aksoy Ahmet, one of the five cycling victims in the crash.
Speaking to Jordan Barson, the driver of the box truck who killed the cyclists last year after plowing into them near Boulder City, Ahmet described what she lost.
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“Now all I’m left with is memories and the fear that I won’t remember everything,” she said.
Her family and friends of the five victims asked the judge to consider the maximum sentence. Judge Bita Yeager said she’s balancing rehabilitation and punishment and heard the pleas of family members.
“It will still be quite a long time before they’re able to overcome the trauma they experienced,” the judge said.
Barson pled guilty to two counts of DUI resulting in death in a plea deal with prosecutors. He was found to be under the influence of meth while behind the wheel.
The judge called it a poor decision.
“When there are five cyclists that died, and two were seriously injured, that is a catastrophe,” Judge Yeager said.
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Donna Trauger, the wife of Tom Trauger, another cycling victim, was glad to see judge Yeager consider their pleas allowing the maximum sentence but felt the plea deal lacked full accountability.
“He pled guilty to two counts of felony DUI, rather than five counts, reducing the potential maximum sentence from 100 years to 40,” she said.
The day before, Barson made a statement from county jail expressing remorse and saying he caused a lot of pain for so many families.
Some of the victim’s families are now looking at pursuing legal options in civil court against Barson.