Rob Lemon and his girlfriend, Hilary Michalak, were riding their tandem bike early Monday on the Memorial Causeway in Clearwater when a vehicle crashed into them, according to media reports.
The impact splintered the bike into pieces and tossed the couple 50 feet apart, the Ledger reported. Meanwhile, the vehicle reportedly kept going. Though both were wearing helmets at the time of the crash, Lemon, 25, later died at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, and Michalak, 27, was in a coma Tuesday.
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Christopher Patrick Weed, 29, of Clearwater came forward on Tuesday morning to say his green Nissan pickup may have been involved in the crash. Weed said that he blacked out on the way home, but he decided to approach police after seeing a report of the crash on the news. On Tuesday night, police announced that Weed was arrested on two felony charges of leaving the scene of a crash: one charge for the death, and another charge for the injury to Michalak.
Alarmingly, the accident above is one of many horrific bicycle accidents that have occurred in Florida.
Florida had 125 pedal cyclist fatalities in 2011 – the highest number of these fatalities among all states, according to an April 2013 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That year, the sunshine state was followed by California, with 114 pedal cyclist fatalities, and New York, with 57 pedal cyclist fatalities.
Our attorneys know that even careful bikers cannot always avoid an accident due to negligent motorists. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in a bicycle accident, you may want to consult with an experienced bicycling accident firm to help you file a personal injury or wrongful death claim.