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April 1, 2015

A bicyclist has as much right to the road as a vehicle. Both are supposed to obey the rules of the road and follow the law. While accidents can happen, it’s hard to see how a Cape Coral, Florida man has any excuses when he killed a cyclist along a wide-open stretch of road.

According the police reports, 44-year-old Jason Stewart was driving his Chevrolet Corvette along Diplomat Parkway on September 28. Witnesses say Stewart was racing down the road at around 100 M.P.H. Scott Johnsen, 60, was riding his bike along the parkway. Johnsen was an avid bike rider and was out for a leisurely afternoon bike ride in the warm Florida sun. Stewart hit Johnsen with the blue Corvette around 3:30 p.m. on the 600 block of Diplomat Parkway, killing him instantly.

It took law enforcement officials four months to investigate the accident. They concluded that Stewart was driving the Corvette at over 100 M.P.H. when the accident occurred. The investigation was turned over to the State Attorney’s Office and an arrest warrant was issued. Stewart was charged with vehicular homicide with a vehicle and reckless driving with injury to a person. He faces up to 30 years in prison, because he is being prosecuted as a habitual offender.

Stewart has a horrible driving record and has consistently driven his vehicle well above the speed limit. His license has been revoked five times. In 2012, he was cited for driving 83 M.P.H. in a 25 zone. In 2013, he was arrested on a DUI when he was involved in a drag race with a Honda. He was clocked going 94 M.P.H. at the time. In 2008, Stewart was convicted of aggravated battery causing bodily harm or disability.

A memorial has been established for Johnsen. Other bicyclists have been using Johnsen’s image for the "Share The Road" campaign. They want to educate drivers that bicyclists have as much right to the road as cars. Friends of Johnsen say they could understand the tragedy if Stewart just didn’t see Johnsen but the tragedy could have been avoided if Stewart had obeyed the traffic laws.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida motor vehicle accident, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 888-FLA-AUTO (888-352-2886) for a free initial consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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