LAS VEGAS (FOX5) — More than 300 people turned out for a memorial and unveiling of a ghost bike in dedication to five cyclists killed in a crash south of the Las Vegas Valley late last year.
The Dec. 10 crash resulted in the deaths of Aksoy Ahmet, 48, Michael Murray, 57, Gerrard Nieva, 41, Erin Ray, 39, and Tom Trauger, 57.
The event Saturday for the LV5 Ghost Bike was held at the Las Vegas Ballpark.
The bike was then installed on the northeast corner of Charleston Boulevard and the 215 Beltway, “as a somber reminder of the five cyclists who lost their lives and as quiet statements in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel,” officials said.
“A motorist, a motorcycle, a pedestrian, somebody is hit every day and almost every time it’s the same story- it’s a distracted driver looking at their phone or it’s an impaired driver,” Pat Treichel said.
Treichel is the founder of Ghost Bikes Las Vegas. When a cyclist is hit and killed by a driver the bike is painted white, and placed near the crash site to serve as a reminder of the tragedy and promote cyclist safety.
“They send a big signal and when we leave the bikes somewhere it creates awareness- it creates conversation,” Treichel said.
It will be moved to a Henderson location at a later date.
FOX5 spoke with Douglas Murray, he lost his 57 year-old brother Michael in the crash.
“Michael was one of the main players in our family, when he showed up it seemed like the temperature dropped a couple degrees and the colors got a little more vivid. The conversation started and there was always laughter in the room,” he said.
Murray said everyone has been supportive and describes the actions of the cycling community as commendable.
“I hope that things like this will help to raise awareness for bicyclists so things like this won’t ever happen again to anybody. These people have been so supportive and they’re doing the right thing,” Douglas Murray said.
Last week, the Las Vegas Cyclists Memorial launched a public awareness campaign called ‘Change Lanes for Bikes. It’s the Law!’ Nevada is one of five states that specify that drivers should move into an adjacent lane to the left if the lane is available when passing a cyclist.