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Driver Pleads Guilty After Killing and Injuring Key Biscayne Cyclists

Michele Traverso crashed into Aaron Cohen and Enda Walsh as the two were riding their bikes along the Rickenbacker Causeway on an early February morning. While Walsh was severely injured after being struck by Traverso, Cohen died at the scene. Traverso had been driving with a suspended license at the time of the crash and surrendered himself to police eighteen hours later. While there were reports that Cohen had been drinking in Coconut Grove before the crash, police were unable to ascertain his blood alcohol level because of the time lapse between the crash and Traverso turning himself into police.

Traverso was in court earlier this week to deal with the charges against him: leaving the scene of an accident involving a death, leaving the scene of an accident with great bodily harm and driving with a suspended license. He pleaded guilty to all the charges, as well as an additional cocaine charge but received no plea deal. He faces a maximum of 35 years in prison for his crimes but could serve as little as 22.8 months.

The accident, which came almost two years after a similar hit and run accident on the Rickenbacker Causeway reignited calls for increased safety for cyclists and runners. Other cyclists erected a billboard in Cohen’s honor to bring attention to bicycle safety. Cohen’s family has filed a lawsuit against Traverso’s father, who owns the car Traverso was driving when he struck and killed Cohen. The damage amount the family is seeking has not been reported.

Driver pleads guilty in hit-run bicycle crash on Rickenbacker, September 19, 2012.

Cyclists have a right to ride on the same roads as automobiles, yet many drivers either ignore or fail to see cyclists on the road. Miami’s flat roadways and scenic coastlines make it a haven for those who enjoy riding bikes. However, Miami is a leading city for cycling accidents. The number of cyclists involved in crashes and killed has significantly risen over the past few years and families are left to deal with their loved ones’ wrongful deaths. Jonathan Friedland, managing partner at Miami’s Friedland | Carmona, is a tri-athlete and avid cyclist who understands the risks other cyclists face on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in a cycling accident, call the Miami Beach motor vehicle accident lawyers at the Friedland | Carmona today. With over twenty years of experience and a passion for helping victims, the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers have dedicated their careers to helping victims and their families recover compensation for their injuries, including money to cover medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. If you have been hurt in a cycling accident, don’t hesitate! Call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation.

The Miami motor vehicle accident attorneys at the Friedland | Carmona handle all types of motor vehicle accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland | Carmona handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries.

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