Alleged DUI Driver that Killed 5 Bicyclists Faces 12 Felony Charges

A box truck driver faces various DUI charges after causing a tragic accident on a highway in Nevada. Unfortunately, he struck and killed five cyclists. It was later discovered that the driver reportedly had a high level of methamphetamine in his system during the collision. This intoxication may have been the primary cause of the accident.

The suspect identified as Jordan Alexander Barson, 45, now faces up to 12 felony charges.

According to the Clark County District Attorney Steven B. Wolfson, the suspect was charged with the following:

  • Five counts of driving under the influence resulting in death
  • One count of driving under the influence resulting in substantial bodily harm
  • Five counts of reckless driving resulting in death.

Police arrested Barson and placed him in custody at the Mohave County Jail in Kingman. He will be extradited to Nevada where the charges he faces could put him in state prison for decades.

The Morning of the DUI Accident

The incident occurred early in the morning on Thursday, December 10th. Highway Patrol reported that Barson was driving an Isuzu box truck when he approached a group of about 20 cyclists who were being escorted by a Subaru Outback. The cyclists, who were taking part in an annual 130-mile ride, had split into two packs–one riding in front of the Subaru and one riding behind it. Barson hit the slower-moving group that was behind the Subaru and then hit the Subaru shortly after.

Consequently, seven cyclists were thrown from their bikes, and five of them died on the highway. Authorities identified the cyclists whose lives were tragically taken as Erin Ray, 39; Michael Murray, 57; Aksoy Ahmet, 48; and Thomas Trauger, 57; and Gerrard Nieva. All of them were residents of Las Vegas.

Another cyclist whose identity remains undisclosed was hospitalized in critical condition but eventually stabilized after receiving extensive medical attention. Emergency personnel also carried the driver of the Subaru to a nearby hospital in stable condition.

During the crash, however, Barson suffered no injuries and remained on the scene of the crime to speak with investigators. The Highway Patrol initially believed that Barson was not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol because he told investigators that he fell asleep at the wheel. After further investigation, they found that Barson had a highly addictive stimulant called methamphetamine in his system.

The Community Mourns

The portion of the highway the cyclists were traveling before the collision was generally considered a safe route for biking because of its wide shoulder. It is disappointing that it will no longer be considered as such moving forward. District Attorney Mr. Wolfson made a statement saying that he was at a loss for words and underscored the recklessness of driving while intoxicated. He closed his statement saying “tragically, this type of reckless behavior has left five people dead, several injured, and our community in mourning once again.”

A relief fund has since been created for the families of the victims.

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12-Year-Old Boy Struck and Killed in Suspected DUI Accident

We keep readers informed about recent DUI incidents to underscore the consequences of driving under the influence. DUIs are a serious matter and can change the trajectory of your life – for both the victim and the suspect. Here in California, the incidence of DUIs is significantly higher than in other areas of the United States. So we want to do our best to keep you all safely informed.

A repeat DUI offender and convicted bank robber was charged with second-degree murder for a DUI collision in Costa Mesa, California. Unfortunately, the incident tragically killed a 12-year-old boy who was bike riding alongside his father.

DUI Collision in Costa Mesa

This tragedy occurred last week on Sunday, Dec 6th just before 6 p.m. The police identified the victim as Noel Bascon. According to investigative reports, Noel and his father were out riding their bikes near the intersection of Junipero Drive and Arlington Drive. As the two entered the crosswalk, a pickup truck failed to stop at the stop sign and blew through the intersection. When the father saw the car and realized it was not going to stop, he tried to get the driver’s attention but failed. Sadly, the car struck Noel and sent the young boy flying several feet.

When emergency personnel arrived at the scene of the crime, a passerby was attempting CPR on the boy in hopes of reviving him. First responders then continued administering life-saving measures before transporting him to a nearby hospital to receive extensive medical treatment. Unfortunately, the injuries Noel sustained from the crash were far too severe. He was pronounced dead not too long after his arrival.

Authorities suspected that the driver of the pickup truck (later identified as Richard David Lavelle of Long Beach) was impaired while driving. He sustained no injuries from the collision and was arrested at the scene of the crime. His passenger, Lee Anna Diaz Murphy, was also booked on suspicion of possession of controlled substances and unlawful drug paraphernalia.

Learning from Your Past Mistakes

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Lavelle was convicted in 2013 of driving while under the influence in San Diego County. This prior incident upgraded his current charge from manslaughter to murder. He could also potentially face harsher penalties because of his robbery conviction in August 2009 and failure to abide by his parole upon release in 2013.

In response to a news reporter, Noel Bascon’s mother expressed how Lavelle is a menace to society. She believes that he needs to be locked up for life, so he does not do this to anybody else again.

Unfortunately, some people do not learn from past mistakes. Defendants that have so many prior convictions such as Lavelle underscore this sentiment. Given that that the suspect has multiple prior convictions, the DUI lawyer representing him may find it a bit more challenging to navigate this case. It will require an even more delicate approach that respects both the suspect’s intent and the victim’s family’s search for justice. The lawyers at The Law Office of Taylor and Taylor have a hands-on, understanding approach when dealing with cases of all vigor.

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Driver Kills Two Women in Suspected DUI Crash, Faces Criminal Charges

This past weekend, two 21-year-old women died in a crash that led to the arrest of a DUI suspect. The Riverside County coroner identified the young victims as Dane Adkins-Radford and Emily Hale – both residents of Hemet, California.

The crash occurred on Saturday, December 12th, 2020 at approximately 4:00 a.m. near Florida Avenue and Kirby Street. According to the Hemet Police Department, a Honda Fit hatchback with three occupants was stopped at a red traffic light when a BMW 535i sedan failed to brake and rear-ended them. Consequently, the impact nearly totaled the Honda. Video surveillance showed the Honda with its back crashed into the backseats and the BMW on the sidewalk with a severely damaged front hood and a shattered windshield.

When first responders arrived at the scene of the crime, they found the driver and one of the other passengers in the Honda unconscious and the other passenger severely injured. The county coroner reported that Adkins-Radford died at the scene due to her severe injuries. It was unclear whether she was the driver or front passenger during the incident. Hale died at Riverside University Health System Medical Center despite receiving extensive medical treatment.

The driver of the BMW was identified as 33-year-old Jesus Rios of Downey. Investigative reports stated that he did not sustain any injuries from the accident. Following the accident, Rios attempted to flee the scene of the crime, but a nearby witness prevented his escape.

Officers later arrested Rios on suspicion of DUI, vehicular manslaughter and attempted hit-and-run. The court set his bail at $1 million with his hearing scheduled for today, December 16th, 2020.

DUI Accidents Change Lives

Family members of the victims have since set up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses for Adkins-Radford and Hale. In addition, a GoFundMe page was set up to cover the medical expenses for the surviving victim, Alyssa. She suffered from several broken bones in her right arm and right leg and had some fractures in her hip and left leg.

Driving while intoxicated is a decision that comes with dangerous consequences. In this case, two young girls lost their lives, and a young man will likely spend a decade of his life incarcerated because of it. Dealing with a DUI can be stressful and time-consuming. When facing a DUI charge, it is important to have experienced lawyers on your side to handle your case. The DUI attorneys at the Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor know how to navigate difficult cases and show compassion and care throughout the entire process.

Rather than drive while intoxicated, choose a safe alternative like utilizing a rideshare company or having a sober friend drive. Choose safety always – it can save a life.

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Repeat Offender Causes DUI Accident, Claiming the Lives of Two Parents

On Wednesday, the police announced the arrest of a 22-year-old woman involved in a car crash that killed a Santa Ana couple. They suspected she had been driving while under the influence leading up to the crash. This incident unfortunately leaves the couple’s three young daughters without their parents.

Authorities identified the young suspect as Grace Elisabeth Coleman of Newport Beach who has a prior conviction for driving under the influence.  The deadly crash occurred on Tuesday, December 8th at approximately 7:46 p.m. at Newport Coast Drive and Pelican Hills Road South. Coleman was behind the wheel of a black Range Rover traveling southbound on Newport Coast Drive when the SUV collided with the victim’s Nissan Versa. According to the criminal complaint, Coleman ran a red light immediately before colliding with the couple and their three children.

Unfortunately, the crash killed the couple instantly. Orange County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dennis Breckner identified the victims of this tragedy as Henry Eduardo Saldana-Mejia, 27 of Santa Ana, and Gabriela M. Andrade, who would have turned 29 later this month.

It was reported that the couple’s daughters – ages 1, 4, and 5 – were critically injured as a result of the crash. First responders transported them to a nearby hospital to receive necessary medical treatment.

Coleman was also hospitalized, but the extent of her injuries was unclear.

Facing the DUI Charges

After the events of the crash, a wounded Coleman tried to leave the scene of the crime on foot. The Newport Beach Police Department quickly found and arrested her before she could escape. They booked her on the following charges:

  • Two counts of murder
  • One count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury
  • One count of hit and run resulting in a death

All the counts will be considered felony charges. She also faces three felony enhancements of great bodily injury for the injuries suffered by the three daughters. Under state law, a driver with a prior DUI conviction who is subsequently involved in a deadly DUI crash can be charged with second-degree murder, which carries a life sentence.

A judge revoked Coleman’s bail on Thursday during her arraignment. If convicted as charged, Coleman faces a maximum sentence of 34 years and eight months to life in state prison.

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Teen Arrested for DUI Crash Resulting in 7 Injured and 1 Killed

On Saturday, 19-year-old Nicolas Villela IV was involved in a two-car collision that injured seven others and killed one person. Authorities believe he was driving while under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred.

The crash happened approximately at 10:10 p.m. east of Riverbank, California. According to investigative reports, the suspect was traveling westbound in a 2012 Nissan sedan at a dangerously high speed. He then failed to stop at a stop sign, flew through an intersection, and crashed into a Chevrolet sedan. As a result, both vehicles struck a power pole and spun out west of the intersection.

Unfortunately, the impact of the crash was unforgiving. The driver of the Chevrolet, Deborah Mendez, 19, suffered major injuries and required immediate medical attention. Once first responders arrived, they took her to a nearby hospital for treatment. Reports revealed that she suffered a broken pelvis, fractured rib, and other internal injuries. Mendez’s front-seat passenger (later identified as 20-year-old Francisco Lomelie) died from the initial collision.

Villela had five teen occupants in his vehicle, a few of whom had not been wearing seatbelts. Each of the occupants suffered injuries from the blunt-force impact and required medical attention. The two passengers who were not wearing safety belts suffered from broken limbs and several lacerations. Villela had abrasions to his face and left shoulder and some back pain. After receiving treatment for his injuries, authorities booked Villela into the Public Safety Center on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.

A DUI Charge and a Misdemeanor

In addition to those charges, Villela faces a misdemeanor charge of battery on an officer. According to authorities, he was uncooperative during his arrest and dug his fingers into an officer’s hand, causing him to bleed. He remains in custody with a bail set at $125,000.

Given the details of this incident, it is possible that the defendant may receive maximum penalties from the court. Difficult cases like this require the best representation. At the Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor, we evaluate all the facts of each case and treat each client with the respect. We offer well-versed and experienced counsel dedicated to bringing about the fairest outcome.

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