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Las Vegas Valley traffic deaths unusually high so far in 2019

A grisly stretch to begin the year on the Las Vegas Valley’s roads continued Monday with the death of a motorcyclist in Henderson.

His death was the first traffic fatality investigated by the Henderson Police Department in 2019, and he was the sixth person killed in crashes on valley highways or streets since Saturday morning.

The previous deaths were investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department and the Nevada Highway Patrol, and the Sunday night death of a 48-year-old bicyclist represented the eighth traffic fatality within Metro’s jurisdiction this year.

It’s an abnormally high number for the first half of January, and particularly notable given Metro had no traffic deaths at this time last year, Metro Capt. Nick Farese said Monday.

“One fatality is too many,” said Farese, with Metro’s traffic bureau. “This is not a good start to the year.”

Five of Metro’s eight traffic deaths this year were bicyclists or pedestrians, he said. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“Pedestrians need to be more aware of where they walk,” Farese cautioned. “They need to be cognizant of traffic and know that a driver doesn’t always assume a pedestrian is there.”

The deadly weekend began about 12:15 a.m. Saturday when Lyle Neff II, 52, was riding his bicycle near downtown Las Vegas. He was struck by a suspected impaired motorcyclist on Fremont Street and East Sahara Avenue and thrown into the side of a 2006 Nissan Sentra. The motorcyclist, 35-year-old Daniel Althoff, was jailed in Clark County Detention Center on a DUI resulting in death charge.

That evening, Charles Kirkling Jr., 34, was thrown from his motorcycle after crashing with an off-duty Metro officer at Mountains Edge Parkway and South Buffalo Drive.

And about 11 p.m. Saturday, 46-year-old Angelica Kimber was killed after crashing on the 215 Beltway near Sahara Avenue. She wasn’t wearing her seat belt, Highway Patrol spokesman Travis Smaka said.

“There is nothing that takes less time and is more guaranteed than wearing your seat belt,” Smaka said.

The deadly weekend continued into Sunday with the death of a 49-year-old woman in a crash at Lincoln Road and East Lake Mead Boulevard, and the death of a bicyclist, 48-year-old Stephanie Sierad, Sunday night after crashing with a truck.

Last year marked the deadliest year in a decade for motorists on Nevada roads with 331 fatalities, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Contact Rachel Spacek at 702-387-2921 or rspacek@reviewjournal.com. Follow @RachelSpacek on Twitter. Contact Mike Shoro at mshoro@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Mia Sims contributed to this report.

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