Articles Posted in Bicycle Accident


PLANT CITY, FL – A bicyclist’s life was claimed after they were struck by a hit-and-run driver operating a blue Ford F-150 pickup truck, who was later found and arrested Saturday. 

This crash was reported after 2 a.m. on North Park Road near East Sam Allen Road, according to Fox 13 News. Two eyewitnesses were helpful when it came to Plant City finding and arresting the hit-and-run driver, later identified as John Keith Jones. 

Plant City Police told the source that the witness, along with Jones, got out of their vehicles. 


EAST TAMPA, FL – The hit-and-run driver responsible for hitting a cyclist (who succumbed to fatal injuries) last Tuesday, on October 24, in the College Hills neighborhood has turned herself in. 

Tampa Police told FOX 13 News that they arrested 28-year-old Dameisha Tyana Cesar and booked her into the Orient Road Jail on Friday, October 27th. 

Cesar has been charged with driving without a valid driver’s license and leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in death. Her driver’s license was suspended in June of 2013 and then again, a couple of times, in 2015. 

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EAST TAMPA, FL – Police confirmed that it was 57-year-old Darrell Lawson who lost his life when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while riding his bike

This collision occurred after 8:15 p.m. Tuesday in the area of East 21st Avenue. Lawson succumbed to fatal injuries at the scene despite the life-saving measures conducted on him. 

Police have yet to locate the hit-and-run suspect. Although they do believe the suspect drove a light blue, gray, or silver sedan and was last seen on East 21st Avenue. 

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TAMPA, FL – A hit-and-run collision near Palmetto Beach claimed the life of a cyclist early Monday, according to Tampa Police.

Investigators say the victim was riding a blue Huffy bicycle south on the shoulder of Causeway Boulevard at the Licata Bridge sometime after midnight when he was hit by a Honda Civic.

First responders discovered the adult male cyclist dead at the scene at about 6:50 a.m. His identity is being withheld pending further investigation.

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SARASOTA, FL – A Mercedes driver was arrested after he was responsible for fatally striking a cyclist and then leaving the scene near the John Ringling Causeway Friday night. 

Sarasota Police told My Sun Coast that the suspect was identified as Timothy Bixler. Police said they pulled him over when they noticed his vehicle consistent with damage sustained in a reported hit-and-run crash near the scene. They said he was not wearing a right sock or shoe, which was later found at the site. 

Police conducted a breath test on Bixler, “but not a blood test.” Bixler will be charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in another person’s death.


To help increase traffic safety, the city of Tampa is announcing new “quick build” initiatives, which includes new bike lanes.

Ybor City’s Avenida de Cuba (14th Street) now has bike lanes and parking. They are a component of Tampa’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to end traffic fatalities.

These new bike lanes extend through Columbus Drive to Lake Avenue in the V.M. Ybor Neighborhood, which has historically been a dangerous area.

Cyclists in the area are praising the new bike lanes, stating that anyone can use them comfortably, no matter your age or if you are biking to work, a sports cyclist, a young child getting some exercise, or even those riding scooters.

Untitled-design-48-200x300The city is funding these renovations with grant money from the US Department of Transportation’s new Safe Streets For All program, which was given to the city earlier this year.

Data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) shows that in 2022 Hillsborough County saw 305 bicycle accidents, resulting in 14 deaths and 271 injuries. In Pinellas County for the same year, 388 bicycle crashes were reported resulting in 9 deaths and 374 injuries.

What Should You Do After a Bicycle Collision in Tampa?

Following a bike accident, you must first assess any physical injuries you may have received and seek necessary medical care. After that, get in touch with our Tampa Bicycle Accident Attorneys Whittel & Melton so that our experienced personal injury attorneys can guide you through the next steps. In Florida, your medical costs and lost wages should be covered by personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. We can explain more about your coverage options when you contact us for a free consultation. To properly submit a claim, we will need detailed records of the incident, including the following information:

  • Accident date, time, and place
  • How the accident happened (as you remember it)
  • Statements from witnesses and/or a police report
  • Pictures or videos showing the scene of the accident
  • Pictures of the injuries you received, as well as damage done to your bike

An accident involving a bicycle might have many causes. The most frequent reasons for bicycle accidents are inattentive driving, wayward turns, dooring, crashes in driveways, bad weather, and intoxicated driving. Continue reading

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A man riding a bicycle Monday morning was hit and killed by a vehicle in Largo, according to police reports. 

The vehicle vs. bike accident occurred just before 6 a.m. on Starkey Road and East Bay Drive. Police pronounced the biker dead at the scene. 

The Largo Police Departments Traffic Homicide Unit responded to the crash site and is currently conducting an investigation into the tragedy. 

Police did release that they believe the man’s bicycle had no tail light and that alcohol was not a factor in the crash. The driver of the vehicle did remain at the crash site, so it will be determined once a full investigation is conducted whether or not the driver will face any charges. 

biking-1721469_1920-300x175No one ever expects to be involved in a bicycle crash or even a pedestrian accident. The aftermath of these serious accidents can affect victims and their families for a long time. If you survive a crash like these, you may find that the physical and emotional recovery process is a lengthy one and you may be unable to enjoy your life in the same ways as you did before the accident. On top of this, you might be struggling to keep up with your medical bills due to not being able to work. Our Tampa Bay Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are leaders in the field of pedestrian and bicycle law and are advocates for cyclists throughout the state of Florida.

We know that now more than ever bikes have become a very popular year-round mode of transportation for residents and visitors alike in Florida. We also know that regardless of how careful pedestrians and bicyclists are, they can easily become the victims of a crash caused by negligent motorists. That is why we remain committed to protecting the rights of bikers and pedestrians throughout the Tampa Bay area. 

We have seen all kinds of accidents in our years of work protecting the rights of injured bicyclists and pedestrians. We know how even the safest of bikers and pedestrians can have encounters with angry drivers who have struck them intentionally, opened their doors in their paths, or even passing too closely or driving too closely. Serious and fatal accidents can happen even in communities that have bike lanes that are in place to protect bikers and provide them with more visibility to drivers. 

Florida law is clear when it comes to pedestrian and bike laws: bicyclists have the same rights to use the roads as drivers of motor vehicles. The law also provides that drivers of motor vehicles are to exercise caution when sharing the roads with pedestrians and bikers to avoid hitting them. Sadly, despite laws protecting bikers and pedestrians, many unnecessary injuries and deaths occur every year because of distracted or inattentive drivers. 

Can I Be Found Responsible for My Own Bicycle Crash? 

As we mentioned before, bikers have rights when they are out on the roads in Tampa Bay and elsewhere in Florida. On that some note, cyclists also have legal responsibilities they must abide by just like drivers of motor vehicles. So to answer this question, yes, bikers can be held partially liable for causing an accident that resulted in their injuries. This is known as contributory negligence, and means that the biker in question may have contributed to their own crash in some way. While a police officer may write up an accident report naming you partially at fault, or an insurance adjuster working on your accident claim may make this determination, this does not mean that you are actually at fault. It is important to work with a injury attorney after your accident so that they can advocate on your behalf and make sure your rights and responsibilities are fully protected. 

Bicyclists and pedestrians alike are usually left to suffer serious injuries that can last extended periods of time. Medical bills can be overwhelming and they may be unable to get back to work right away. Our Tampa Bay Pedestrian and Bicyclist Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you build a strong case in order to recover the financial compensation you need and deserve following a serious bicycle or pedestrian accident. 

We fully understand that many residents of Tampa choose to cycle or walk to work or even engage in these activities daily for their health or to participate in recreation activities with their families. If you’ve been injured by a careless driver, you deserve to have experienced legal representation to uphold the laws that make our roads accessible to all. 

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An elementary student was hit and killed while riding his bike to school in Sarasota Monday morning.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the 9-year-old boy was hit at the intersection of Webber Street and Nodosa Drive just before 8 a.m.

Deputies said the boy was riding his bike to Brentwood Elementary School.

As he was following his older sister across the intersection, the driver of a silver Chevy Silverado did not see him and hit him with his truck.

They 9-year-old was transported to Doctors Hospital of Sarasota, where he later died.

Deputies said the driver of the Silverado did stop and is cooperating.

It is quite common for people of all ages to ride their bikes on Florida roadways for fun, exercise or to get to work or school. It is a driver’s responsibility to keep an eye out for bikers and make sure they are operating their vehicles safely. When drivers make a mistake behind the wheel, it is usually the bike rider that suffers the consequences. Due to the lack of structural protection, bikers involved in accidents may suffer from broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, neck and back injuries and even wrongful death.

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A 61-year-old bicyclist was hit and killed on Hillsborough Avenue and Harney Road Sunday afternoon.

Troopers said the bicyclist was traveling eastbound in the westbound bike lane of Hillsborough Ave. when a Dodge traveling westbound changed lanes and collided with the bike.

The biker was ejected and suffered fatal injuries. He was transported to Tampa General Hospital where he later died.

He was not wearing a helmet.

The crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.

Bicyclists have little more than a helmet for a protection, so they are no match for a car. Sadly, bicyclists frequently do not survive collisions with cars and trucks. When bicycle accidents are the result of negligence, members of the victim’s family have the right to seek justice for their loved one through financial compensation for their loss.

While there is certainly no amount of money that can replace what has been lost, our Tampa Bay Wrongful Death Attorneys at Whittel & Melton firmly believe that taking action is important. Not only does it allow the victim’s family to recover for the financial losses they have suffered, it may prevent the responsible party from harming anyone else in the future. We fight aggressively in these cases to ensure that justice is served.

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Pinellas County has the highest bicycle fatality rate of any major metro area in the U.S., according to federal data. Its per-capita cyclist death rate for the past decade ranks No. 1 among the four counties in the Tampa Bay metro area.

In fact, Florida has by far the highest per-capita bicyclist death rate in the country.

The number of cyclists killed in motor-vehicle crashes nationwide hit 840 in 2016—the most recent data available—according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That was the most since 1991 and a 35% jump from 2010.

A range of likely reasons explains the rise in deaths, including more overall vehicular traffic and driver distractions, according to people who track transportation trends.

Texting drivers is a huge problem. Alcohol is yet another big factor. In 2015, 22% of fatally injured cyclists, and 12% of drivers in these crashes, had a blood-alcohol content level of at least 0.08, the legal limit for motorists in most states, according to the nonprofit Governors Highway Safety Association.

While cyclist death rates have risen in many states since 2010, the three with the most fatalities since then—Florida, California and Texas—account for about 40% of all cyclist deaths, according to NHTSA, despite having 27% of the nation’s population.

Florida’s numbers are bad even when compared with other warm-weather states. Its recent 10-year cyclist fatality rate was 6.2 deaths per 100,000 residents; that is 59% higher than the rate in Louisiana, the state with the second-highest level.

State transportation officials say they have made a concerted effort since 2014 to boost cycling safety. The Florida Department of Transportation changed its standard width for bike lanes from 4 to 7 feet and now recommends buffered or protected bike lanes. The agency launched a $100 million push in 2016 to better light 2,500 locations where the number of nighttime crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists was high.

The state agency also lowered speed limits in some places, officials said. Local police have stepped up education efforts on topics such as using lights at night and riding with the flow of traffic.

Cycling deaths in Florida fell to 116 in 2017, the fewest since 2010 and a significant drop from recent years, according to preliminary state data. But so far this year, bike fatalities involving motor-vehicles are trending higher: Through Sept. 23, the state said 95 cyclists had been killed in such accidents, putting it on track for about 130 for the year.

Six of those bicyclists died in Pinellas County, which includes the coastal cities of St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

When a motorist is found to have caused a fatal bicycle accident, they may be liable in a wrongful death lawsuit. While not all fatal accidents are considered wrongful deaths, those that are caused by another person’s negligence are. In Florida, wrongful death lawsuits can be filed by the family, usually the parents, spouse or children of the victim, and any blood relative or adoptive sibling who is “partly or wholly dependent on the decedent for support or services.”

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