An 80 year old man, Jacobus Vancaulil, of Estero, was riding his bicycle along the side of Ben Hill Griffin Parkway and was killed when he was struck by a car, driven by Donna Rice, 71, of Ft. Myers.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, the collision occurred when Rice was pulling out of a neighborhood and making a right turn onto Ben Hill Griffin Parkway from Porto Romano Drive. Sadly, what we so often hear after a cycling accident is true in this incident too. The driver said she didn’t see the bicyclist and pulled into his path. Vancaulil was wearing a bike helmet but struck the right side of Rice’s vehicle and was thrown onto the windshield.
A news source reported Rice panicked after the crash, hit the accelerator pedal and crashed into a light pole in the median. She then drove back across the southbound lanes of the Parkway, ending up on the opposite side of the road before her vehicle came to a stop.
Tragically, the impact of the collision caused the cyclist critical injuries. He was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital in Ft. Myers but according to media, he died in the ambulance.
Charges against the driver are pending.