A distracted driver crashed into a pack of cyclists in Davie, Florida on November 25th, striking six and killing one. The cyclists, members of Cycling Family Broward, were traveling on State Road 84 in Davie, near Southwest 148th Avenue. Nicole Vanderweit, 33, admitted to being distracted by something in her car as she approached the pack of 14 cyclists.
Six cyclists were struck by the 2012 Honda Fit driven by Vanderweit. The victims were transporterd to Broward Health Medical Center where 53-year-old Denise Marsh was pronounced dead. Carlos Rodriguez, 62, is listed in critical condition and underwent surgery for his injuries. Maria Bautista, 56, John Beitz, 49, Edgar Reyes, 48, and an unidentified 14-year-old boy suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police do not believe that drugs, speed, or alcohol played any role in the crash. In addition, police note that they do not believe the woman was using her cell phone.
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This tragic case is just one of many that occur each year across the United States. Drivers are often distracted, and just a single second of inattention can lead to a crash. Damaged vehicles can be repaired or replaced, but there is no way to replace a lost life. Denise Marsh surely had family and friends who loved her and who will be greatly impacted by the loss. The injured individuals and their families have all been touched by the crash. In addition, one cannot overlook the driver who will surely suffer the rest of her days with the knowledge that she caused the death of an innocent person.
Take notice of this tragedy and consider your own driving behaviors. Are you ever distracted by your cell phone? Do you look away from the road, even for a moment, to adjust your stereo or look at a passenger? It only takes a single moment of distraction to cause a crash. Many cell phones have a way to restrict calls when they detect that you are driving. If you have this feature on your phone, take the time right now to turn it on. No text message or phone call is worth the risk involved, and there is nothing worth pulling your attention away from the road if you are driving.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a bicycle crash, contact the experienced attorneys at Kass & Moses. We are cyclists, too, and we understand the risks that cyclists face on the roads. Ride carefully!