Police in Coral Gables, Florida are investigating a hit-and-run accident that has left a bicyclist dead. The yet-unidentified cyclist was found by a Coral Gables police officer less than a minute after the crash around 3:13 a.m. on March 26th. The officer stopped to administer aid, but the victim had already died.
At first, it was not apparent that the death was the result of a crash, but the officer found a battered bicycle and a shoe four blocks from the cyclist’s location. Marks on the ground near the bicycle indicated a vehicle’s involvement. The cyclist was found with a backpack, but no identification. Police believe he was not a University of Miami student, due to his age.
Kelly Denham, spokesperson for the Coral Gables Police Department, told the Miami Herald that the cyclist is not believed to have been exercising at the time of the accident, due to his attire. She added that the bicycle was not equipped with mandatory safety lights, and that investigators believe that the driver would have needed to remove the bicycle from his or her vehicle before driving away.
“A driver of a vehicle should always stop and identify themselves after an accident and never flee the scene — it’s simply against the law. If the driver feels unsafe to get out of the care and identify themselves, they should call 911 and report the incident to authorities immediately. At Soofer Law Group, we’ve represented numerous injury victims where the driver has fled the scene and we were able to request punitive damages.”
Thanks to bits of paint and partial license plate information provided by a witness to the accident, police were able to find a car they believe was involved. The damaged Nissan Altima was hidden behind a fence and beneath a tarp, though it was able to be seen from the street. Police have taken the car into custody for further investigation.
As of March 27th, Coral Gables Police have yet to make any arrests, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward with information about the accident. Miami-Dade is one of five areas in the United States with the highest bicycle fatality rates, and Denham is calling for action to further educate residents about bicycle safety gear.