An independent delivery contractor for The St. Petersburg Times was driving along Starkey Road in Largo as he often did just before 5 a.m. when he hit and killed a 55-year-old man riding a bicycle on a dark section of the road on Saturday morning, June 18. The bicyclist did not have a headlight or tail light on his bicycle and the impact with the 1996 GMC truck was enough to have him pronounced dead at the scene. TBO.com reports the delivery driver had a clean record in the eight years he delivered the newspaper. The article indicates that the speed on the van does not appear to be a factor in this deadly crash.
Bicycle Accidents in Florida
In 2009 in Florida, 100 bicyclists were killed and 4,425 injured in traffic accidents. The same year Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange, Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties, the most populated in Florida, accounted for half of the state’s 99 bicycle operator and one passenger fatalities. Pinellas County had 10 bicycle fatalities in 2009 and the same number in 2008, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2008, 716 bicyclists were killed in U.S. traffic accidents and 52,000 people were injured. With a population half that of California’s, Florida had more fatal bicycle crashes in 2008 and the highest number of fatal bicycle crashes of any state. This Largo crash represents the 20th bicyclist to be killed in one year on Tampa Bay area roads.
Our condolences go out to the friends and family members of this man for his sudden passing.
Sources: http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/accidents/bicyclist-killed-in-largo-crash/1176096 and http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/VulnerableUsersRpts/