Bay News 9 reports a 29-year-old Tampa bicyclist was killed on his way to work in a hit-and-run accident on Tuesday morning. The cyclist was traveling eastbound on the shoulder of I-4 near the U.S. 92 overpass when he was struck by a vehicle from behind.
The impact of the collision caused the cyclist to be ejected from his bike and thrown 80 feet off of the overpass. Deputies report there were two witnesses who saw the bicyclist fall, but they did not see the vehicle who hit him.
The Florida Highway Patrol arrested the 23-year-old driver of a green Ford Ranger Wednesday morning for causing the bicyclist’s death. He now faces charges for leaving the scene of an accident involving a death, which by Florida law is a second degree felony.
Florida has the highest cyclist fatality rate in the country. According to the Department of Transportation, 125 bicyclists were killed in the state in 2011 alone from traffic-related fatalities.
In conducting an investigation of any accident, it is important to know that law enforcement will investigate how a crash happened, while an experienced bicycle accident lawyer will examine the accident to determine who was at fault. In a case in which a hit and run driver is found and is insured, the victim's family could then pursue claims for compensation for the death of their loved one. In a situation in which the wrongdoer is not found, the loved ones of the deceased could bring claims for financial compensation for their devastating loss through any available uninsured motorist insurance policy. Uncovering available UM policies is best left to an experienced accident lawyer.
Experienced Tampa bicycle accident lawyer and cyclist Jim Dodson is the author of the Survivor's Guide to Florida Wrongful Death Claims based on his years of experience helping families obtain financial compensation after the death of a loved one. This easy to read guide is available at no cost to Florida residents.