Man charged in fatal hit-and-run accident pleads guilty

This past spring we wrote about a civil wrongful death lawsuit that the family members of a bicyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run car accident filed. The man died when a vehicle struck him along with another bicyclist as they rode on Rickenbacker Causeway in Miami. The driver of the vehicle who fled reportedly turned himself into the police some 18 hours after the fatal collision occurred.

While the wrongful death lawsuit is pending, there is news on the criminal case front. The 25-year-old driver of the vehicle, who was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing death and driving with a suspended license, recently plead guilty to those charges along with leaving the scene of an accident with great bodily harm and possession of cocaine.

This is not the first time the man has been in trouble with the law. When the accident occurred, the man driving the vehicle was actually in a drug treatment program as a result of an earlier arrest for the possession of cocaine.

Based on the charges, the man could spend up to 35 years in prison. While the minimum he is looking at is approximately 2 years, the exact length will be determined next month at a sentencing hearing.

The civil lawsuit appears to still be pending. The deceased cyclist’s family filed it not only against the man behind the wheel of the car that struck him, but also against the owner of the car, the man’s father. We will continue to watch for updates on the wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: The Miami Herald, “Driver pleads guilty in hit-run bicycle crash on Rickenbacker,” David Ovalle, Sept. 19, 2012