A tragedy reported from Polk County hit me close to home last night. Apparently, Daniel Paul Smith was riding a bicycle along the shoulder of Highway 27 in Polk County. At the same time, Levon Garcia was driving a tractor-trailer with a wide load. Somehow, some part of Mr. Garcia’s truck or load impacted with Mr. Smith, causing him to be thrown from his bike, and ultimately tragically killing him.
First, our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Smith’s family. The media reports indicate that Mr. Smith was only 20-years old. Twenty years old is just too young to die – particularly is such a tragic way.
As an avid bicyclist myself, stories like this one bother me. Under Florida law, bicycles are just as entitled to use the roadway as cars are. In fact, Florida law requires motor vehicles to wait behind bicycles until it is safe to pass, and then to pass on the left allowing three free of clearance between the motor vehicle and the bicycle at all times. Unfortunately, many motorists don’t do this. Usually the bicyclist just gets scared out of his wits. This time, it was obviously much worse from Mr. Smith.
If you have any questions regarding a Florida bicycle accident, or collision between a car or truck and a bicycle, call Winter Park accident attorney Kim Cullen at 407-644-4444.