Las Vegas Sun

May 23, 2019

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Motorcyclist accused in fatal crash had 2015 DUI conviction

Motorcyclist killed, Jan. 12

Metro Police

A bicyclist traveling on Sahara Avenue near Fremont Street was struck by a suspected impaired motorcyclist on Jan. 12, 2019. The bicyclist died Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

When Daniel James Althoff and his wife hopped on his motorcycle early Saturday in the central valley, it wasn’t the first time he’d driven while impaired, Metro Police allege.

But when he blew through a red light and plowed into a bicyclist — who was pedaling through a crosswalk on Sahara Avenue and Fremont Street — it was apparently the first time Althoff’s alleged actions took a life, according to his arrest affidavit.

Althoff, 35, was arrested on a DUI charge in 2014 and pleaded guilty in a Las Vegas court on March 23, 2015, police said.

Although the smell of alcohol on his breath was detected after Saturday’s crash, Althoff told officers he’d only had “two beers,” police wrote in the affidavit. He said he didn’t remember the crash.

The victim, reportedly identified as Lyle Neff II, died at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. He was 52.

Althoff, who suffered survivable injuries, was booked on one count of DUI at the Clark County Detention Center, where he remained without bond Wednesday, police said.

Officers and medics responded to the intersection about 12:15 a.m., police said.

An investigation showed that a Triumph motorcycle was heading south on Fremont when it smashed into Neff’s bicycle, which was in a crosswalk at the Sahara intersection, police said. The impact threw Neff into the side of a car.

Althoff’s wife — whose breath also smelled of alcohol — told officers they had a green light when the crash occurred, police said. The account of an eyewitness differed.

The couple had just left a nearby establishment downtown where Althoff had drunk two beers and watched a friend perform, he said. They were on their way home.

It was a preventable tragedy, said Capt. Nick Farese in a Metro-released video posted on social media from the the scene of the crash. “Somebody knew that motorcyclist was impaired and still let them get on a motorcycle.”