Emergency Response to Miami Bike Accident Delayed Because of Budget Cuts

Some budget changes apparently are needed in Miami. But budget cutbacks have also cut back the response time of emergency personnel. In this case, a bicyclist was hit by a car on the busy South Florida causeway into Key Biscayne Sunday, January 17. The car was driven by a man who is facing DUI manslaughter charges. His driving record has previous incidents and he has been accused of battery. But it took rescue personnel 12 minutes to respond. The nearest fire rescue station at Key Biscayne is only opened part time. So Miami-Dade sent rescue personnel from its open station, which is in South Miami, which explains the 12 minute wait.

Unfortunately. that time was too much for the cyclist who did not survive the crash. Both Key Biscayne and the City of Miami Fire Rescue are closer to the scene of the accident. The family issued a statement, “Lives were changed forever, and two families are grieving and going through an extremely difficult time.” The county is launching an investigation.

Our sincere condolences go out to the family of the affected individual. The response time is a strong factor in survivability of a bicycle crash with an automobile.

Florida Bicycle and Passenger Fatalities
While bicycle and passenger fatalities decreased 2.5% from 121 to 118 in 2008, 118 bicyclists were killed in 2008 in Florida. There were also 4,380 injuries during that time period from 4,775 crashes. Unfortunately, car drivers will often tell you they did not see a bicyclist or a motorcycle. That is often because they are not looking.

Based on this newspaper report, it seems to me that the driver of the car did not yield right-of-way to the bicyclist. He could find himself at fault for this accident, both criminally and civilly. If I was a member of the deceased bicyclist’s family, I would want to know whether the car driver was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol, or was speeding, distracted, or otherwise negligent and would be consulting with a Florida personal injury attorney.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has kicked off a public awareness campaign called “Share the Road” to remind motorists to use courtesy when driving and watch out for pedestrians, bicyclist, and motorcyclists. The road belongs to everyone.

Source report: http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/MI141562/