A Martin County judge found a Coach bus driver guilty of failing to yield to a Citi Bike rider in Ocean Breeze Park, fatally crushing the cyclist under his rear wheel.
A 53-year old faces up to 30 days in jail on the misdemeanor conviction for the tragic collision, which he insists was an accident.
The judge also found him guilty of a traffic violation, as a victim’s widow fought back tears in the Court gallery.
The widow and her attorney, declined to comment as they left the courtroom.
Martin County attorney praised the verdict for holding the defendant “accountable for the tragic death,” which was the city’s first ride-share program fatality.
During the non-jury trial, prosecutors argued that the 53-year old spotted the victim, that wearing over-the-ear headphones and no helmet, and honked at him.
Although the 36-year old victim, didn’t respond to the loud horn, the driver continued to barrel east down West 26th Street and tried to overtake the cyclist, who became sandwiched between the bus and a parked van.
The 50,000-pound bus struck the 36-year old and its rear wheel rolled over his torso, according to FHP
Video surveillance captured the gruesome collision and its aftermath. The victim writhed on the ground as a crowd encircled him before succumbing to his injuries.
The prosecutor blasted the defense for blaming the victim, and said that even if he had been “riding with no hands and a blindfold on, he had the right of way.”
After the accident, the 53-year old immediately pulled over and waited for police.
Accident attorney Jason Weisser of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck responded to this unfortunate crash. “This is a serious accident involving a bus and a Citi bike rider, which ultimately, resulted in fatal injuries. We hope the investigators can quickly determine what caused the accident. Please be careful and obey the speed limits whenever you are driving a motorcycle, car, SUV or truck. We hope that all parties involved consult with an experienced trial lawyer. If you have been injured in an accident, call my office for a free consultation and find out what your rights are.”
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