A Tampa area driver that killed a bicyclist in an accident nearly three years ago has been found guilty. The vehicle the man was driving had been exceeding 90mph when he struck and killed a cyclist close to the University of South Florida’s Riverfront Park.
On Monday, February 3rd, a jury convicted Lenoy Angel Rivera, age 21, of vehicular homicide. Rivera is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7th for the felony conviction. The man was also found guilty of driving with a suspended license, a misdemeanor offense.
Authorities said that Rivera appeared to be participating in a speed contest with another vehicle on February 13th, 2011 when the accident took place. Both cars traveled east on Fletcher Avenue, each of them speeding, tailgating and changing lanes abruptly.
Rivera lost control of his vehicle and struck bicyclist Robert Niedbalec, age 52, a Temple Terrace veterinarian and black-belt martial arts instructor, who was riding in the bicycle lane. Niedbalec died from his injuries at the scene of the accident.
The driver of the second vehicle, Armando Perez Jr., age 37, was also charged with vehicular homicide as well as leaving the scene of an accident with a death. Perez pleaded not guilty to the offense and his case has not gone to trial at this point. No further details on the accident or either case were provided at this time and no mention was made of any pending civil lawsuits.