Florida Highway Patrol Vehicle Hits Teen on Bike in Fatal Crash in Kendall, Florida
KENDALL, FL- According to patch.com, Angel Lopez, a 17-year-old high school senior was struck and killed by a Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) vehicle on Friday night a little after 9 p.m. The Miami teen was attempting to cross the westbound traffic lanes of State Road 990 on his Huffy bicycle. The trooper was traveling west and struck Lopez.
First responders at the scene pronounced Lopez dead. Gene Spaulding, FHP Director Col., stated that the incident would be subject to a “thorough, transparent, and complete investigation.” He did not say whether the FHP would be conducting that investigation or whether a separate agency would be responsible.
Spaulding released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying that the “Florida Highway Patrol is absolutely heartbroken over the tragic loss of Angel Lopez.”
Lopez was a senior at Miami Killian Senior High School and in the ROTC program.
The average number of cyclist deaths nationwide continues to rise, and more people are killed while riding bicycles in Florida than in any other state in the country. The high fatality rate is at least partially the result of Florida’s warm climate. Other states with high rates of cyclist fatalities include California and Texas, indicating weather is likely a factor, and that more bikes on the road translates as more cyclists being involved in accidents with motor vehicles.
The majority of fatal bicycle accidents, around 71%, occur in urban areas where there is heavier traffic. Most incidents involving a cyclist getting struck by a car are the result of a distracted driver. Drivers using cell phones create an increased risk for pedestrians and cyclists.