MIAMI (WSVN) - An early morning bike ride on Virginia Key took a tragic turn after, investigators said, two cyclists collided with a Miami-Dade Police cruiser, leaving one of them dead and the other injured.
According to investigators, the crash took place along Arthur Lamb Jr. Road, near the water treatment plant, off the Rickenbacker Causeway, just after 7 a.m., Sunday.
“The officer who was involved in this incident is assigned to this area and regularly patrols the causeway and the surrounding areas,” said Miami-Dade Police detective Angel Rodriguez. “Right now, the Miami-Dade Police Department Traffic Homicide Bureau is investigating this incident.”
7News cameras captured officers rendering aid to the victims until more help arrived.
“We had different entities — from City of Miami Fire Rescue, Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue and the Key Biscayne Fire Rescue Department — respond to the scene,” said Rodriguez.
Paramedics transported both male cyclists to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center. One of them arrived in stable condition, and the other was listed in critical condition and was later pronounced dead.
“As far as the manner of cause of death and all of that information, that is to be determined pending the autopsy from the medical examiner’s office,” said Rodriguez.
Witness Francisco Cabrera said he was out for a jog around the time of the crash.
“I heard some noises in the back. When I turned around, right away, two more police cars come in,” he said.
Cabrera said that unfortunately this is something he sees too often.
“I’ve been running around here and biking for almost 10 years, and I’ve seen a lot of accidents over here,” he said.
Cyclists who ride in the area said the road where the crash happened has always been dangerous due to the sun blinding drivers.
“The sun is in their eyes at that time in the morning, anytime between 6:30 and 8 o’clock,” said Lee Marks, an attorney and bicyclist advocate.
Marks said the intersection is popular with cyclists because it leads to a nearby park. He is pushing for the city to build a rotary in order to make it safer.
“Instead of making a left turn with the sun getting in their eyes, they go on a roundabout and make a right turn down that sewage treatment access road, and it would be so much safer,” he said.
Martins Polakovs, another local cyclist, said he feels safe riding in the area, but after hearing about the fatal crash, he plans to be extra cautious.
“I’m still thinking to get a helmet, finally, to be a little bit more safe,” he said.
Investigators have not provided details as to how the crash happened, but they said the officer involved is in shock.
“From the information that I got from other officers that were at the scene, supervisors, he was quite visibly shaken,” said Rodriguez.
Officials said the officer involved in the crash knows the area well because it’s part of his normal route.
Police have not released the cyclists’ identities, as they continue to investigate.
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