POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - New details have been released about a deadly, deputy-involved crash in Pompano Beach.
The roommate of the bicyclist killed in a crash Tuesday involving a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy told 7News Thursday that he was his closest friend and that he struggled with health problems.
The fatal collision happened between 60-year-old John Mancini and BSO Deputy Sean Reyka, who is the son of slain BSO Sgt. Chris Reyka.
“He wasn’t a bad guy,” said Mancini’s roommate Frank Lanuto. “He had a heart of gold, everybody said.”
Lanuto said Mancini was biking to the library to return a DVD.
Lanuto was the person closest to the victim. “We’ve known each other 18 years,” Lanuto said.
Deputies notified him when Mancini was hit along North Dixie Highway as Reyka headed to a call.
“I can tell you that he was very upset, and that’s understandable,” said BSO spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright.
Officials said the deputy was not using lights or sirens as he drove northbound and was not required to do so. Reyka somehow hit Mancini, who was also headed northbound.
“We saw a gap under the BSO truck,” said one witness.
“If you’re paying attention, you would have seen him on the bicycle,” said another witness.
Mancini’s longtime friend said he suffered from several health issues, including diabetes. “I’ve seen him fall many times, on anywhere,” Lanuto said. “He shouldn’t have been on the bike, I know that.”
Sean Reyka followed in his father’s footsteps and became a deputy in 2012. “I’m not the same man as he is, and I’m sure I’ll do things a little differently,” he said in 2012. “But as far as the integrity, the honor, the discipline, all of that, he upheld on a daily basis, that’s kind of what I’m striving to fulfill here.”
Late Thursday afternoon, investigators from the Florida Highway Patrol returned at the scene of the crash to take over the investigation.
“It’s not his fault but still,” Lanuto said, “they were lying in the road. Gotta be more careful.”
Investigators are still looking into what caused the crash.
Reyka is currently on administrative leave.
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