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March 15, 2018

Police in Marion County have arrested a man believed to be driving while intoxicated when he struck and killed a bicyclist in the early morning hours of Thursday, March 8th.  A spokesperson for the Ocala Police Department told reporters that the 41-year-old Ocala resident was behind the wheel of a Ford F-150 when he turned down the eastern lanes of Northeast 24th Street at close to 2:00 in the morning.  At the same time, a 33-year-old on a bicycle was driving down the western lane of Northeast 24th Street.

It was right where the paths of the Ford and the bicycle crossed that the driver of the Ford lost control of the vehicle.  Swerving out of the eastern lane and into the western lane, the Ford then struck the cyclist before the 33-year-old could avoid the much larger and faster vehicle.

The force of the collision sent the man flying off of his bicycle and into a tangle of wires attached to a utility pole.  He then fell onto the shoulder of the westbound lanes.

Police were not notified of the collision until a few minutes later.  The driver of the F-150 did not stop at the scene to alert the police.  Instead, they drove back to the eastern lanes, and continued on their way.  It was not until they reached Northeast 24th Street’s 2300 block that they called the police.

Paramedics and EMT workers rushed to assist the cyclist, but there was nothing they could do when they arrived.  It is not clear if the man could have been saved had the driver reported the incident earlier, but we do know that by the time the medical teams reached him he was beyond medical help.  He was declared dead at the scene.

Members of the Ocala Police Department detained the driver of the F-150.  Breath samples were taken from him and analyzed.  The analysis came back to indicate that the drive’s BAC content was between 0.205 and 0.217.  The legal BAC limit is 0.08.

The driver of the F-150 now faces numerous charges, including DUI manslaughter and fleeing the scene of a fatal crash.

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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