When a Group Ride Turns Deadly

Photo credit: Cycling Family Broward - Facebook
Photo credit: Cycling Family Broward – Facebook

From Bicycling

On the morning of November 25 in Broward County, Florida, more than a dozen people embarked on a routine group ride with a local cycling club. Denise Marsh, a 53-year-old office manager and mother of two, helped organize these weekend rides, which emphasized safety and camaraderie over competition. The club, Cycling Family Broward, is known for its no-drop policy and participation in charity events. Marsh served as its vice president.

So that morning she was riding sweep, making sure no one got dropped, when Nicole Vanderweit, 33, drove straight into the back of the group. 

Vanderweit struck six riders before her car, a 2012 Honda Fit, came to a stop on the side of State Road 84 in Davie, a town about 25 miles north of Miami. The scene then descended into chaos. One rider, who asked to remain anonymous on the advice of her attorney, said days later that she’s unable to fall asleep at night because “I can’t get the images out of my head.”

Photo credit: Cycling Family Broward
Photo credit: Cycling Family Broward

The Honda sat motionless, its roof, hood, and windshield caved in. Nearby, bikes and bodies were strewn across the road. People screamed in pain, and one rider performed CPR on another. Someone’s leg was broken and bent at a 90-degree angle. The youngest rider, a 14-year-old boy, was still clipped into his mangled bike. Two nurses who had joined the ride moved frantically from one injured person to another. A single tooth lay on the blacktop, and no one knew whom it came from.

Marsh was declared dead in the crash’s immediate aftermath. Two days later, Carlos Rodriguez, 62, succumbed to his injuries. Three other riders-Edgar Reyes, 48; Maria Bautista, 56; and John Beitz, 49-were hospitalized in serious but stable condition, while the 14-year-old, who was not identified, suffered road rash and a concussion.

Photo credit: Facebook
Photo credit: Facebook

Both Marsh and Rodriguez were beloved in the South Florida cycling community. Marsh’s son Christopher told Local 10 News that his mother was generous woman with a passion for riding. “The way that she expressed her love for others was through giving,” he said. “She would drop everything she was doing. She would inconvenience herself to the full extent just to help other people.”

The Facebook page for Cycling Family Broward has seen a stream of tributes and remembrances over the last few days. Marsh had just posted an itinerary for the weekend on Friday, while Rodriguez was still uploading videos to the page the day before the crash. 

“Just can’t believe that she will not be making announcements at the next ride,” one member wrote. “She was such a good person with an inspirational spirit. Denise Marsh you will be missed by so many.”

Vanderweit told police that at the time of the crash, the glaring sun made it difficult to see. She also said she was momentarily distracted by something in the passenger seat-exactly what, she or the police wouldn’t say. A spokesperson for the Davie Police Department said there’s no evidence she was impaired or speeding-the road where the crash occurred has a posted speed limit of 55 mph and an unprotected shoulder-but told reporters that authorities are examining her phone. Police did not respond to a request for a followup comment.

Photo credit: Facebook
Photo credit: Facebook

No charges have been brought against Vanderweit. Two attorneys who specialize in bike-related cases, Megan Hottman and Steve Magas, said they doubt any ever will.

Florida doesn’t have a vulnerable road user law, and the penalties for distracted driving are some of the most lenient in the country. A first-time offense is considered a noncriminal traffic infraction, while second offense within five years-if it causes the death of another person-can result in 120 hours of community service, as well as civil penalty fees.

Both attorneys did agree that if the case were brought to court, the glaring sun wouldn’t carry much weight as a defense. “If you are operating a big, fast piece of dangerous equipment and you can’t see, then your legal duty is to pull over to stop and wait until you can,” Magas said.

On Monday, Vanderweit issued an apology via local reporters off camera, saying, “Please know that if I could trade places with Mrs. Marsh, I would.”

Florida has a higher rate of cycling fatalities than any other state, at 6.2 deaths per 100,000 people. That’s almost 60 percent higher than Louisiana, the next-closest state in the grim rankings. In September, the Orlando Sentinel called Florida roads “a killing field for cyclists.” https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/group-ride-turns-deadly-205900048.html

Man Charged With Felony DWI In Hamptons

Man Charged With Felony DWI In Hamptons: Cops

EAST HAMPTON, NY — A River Edge, NJ, man was caught driving drunk in East Hampton recently, police said.

According to East Hampton Town Police, James P. O’Connor, 58, was arrested on Saturday at 11:42 p.m. on Accabonac Rd. near Church Ln.; he was driving a silver 2013 Subaru north when he failed to maintain his lane and crossed over the double yellow center line, police said.

Upon investigation, he was found to have the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, bloodshot, glassy eyes, slurred speech, and he was unsteady on his feet and performed poorly on all standardized field sobriety tests administered, police said. A criminal history check revealed he had a previous conviction within the past 10 years for driving while intoxicated out of Oneonta City Court, police said.

O’Connor was arrested and charged with aggravated DWI: per se .18 of 1% or more alcohol, prior conviction within 10 years, a felony; DWI, prior conviction of designated offense within 10 years, a felony; aggravated unlicensed operation 1: commit agg unlicensed operation 2/alcohol or drug, a felony; and operating a vehicle without an interlock device, a misdemeanor, police said.

Bail was set at $5,000, police said. https://patch.com/new-york/easthampton/man-charged-felony-dwi-hamptons-cops?utm_source=oath&utm_medium=rss&utm_term=police%20&%20fire&utm_campaign=recirc&utm_content=oath&yptr=yahoo

Police Detail New Year’s Eve DWI No Refusal Operation

Irving Police Detail New Year's Eve DWI No Refusal Operation

IRVING, TX — The Irving Police Department will conduct a driving while intoxicated (DWI) no-refusal operation over the New Year’s Eve holiday period. Persons arrested for DWI will be offered a blood test only (no breath tests). Officers will seek a search warrant, signed by a judge, in order to obtain a sample from anyone refusing consent to a blood test, the department said in a news release.

The operations will take place on the nights of Sunday, Dec. 30 and Monday, Dec. 31.

“During the New Year’s Eve holiday period, there is a higher likelihood of impaired drivers on the roadways. This can increase the potential for alcohol related crashes involving injuries and deaths,” the department stated.

If you see a suspected drunk driver, and you (or a passenger) can do so safely, please call 911 with the information. https://news.yahoo.com/irving-police-detail-years-eve-134335776.html;_ylt=AwrXnCVt0SBctksAPSDQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByNDZ0aWFxBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwM2BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

Brake Fluid Trail Leads To Hit-Run Driver

Brake Fluid Trail Leads To Hit-Run Driver In Toms River: PD

TOMS RIVER, NJ — A Toms River man has been charged with driving while intoxicated following a multi-vehicle crash after police traced him to his home by following a trail of brake fluid.

Vincent Soriano, 24 of Toms River, was arrested at his home early Saturday morning, said Jillian Messina of the Toms River Police Department.

Police Officer Adam Worth responded to Maine Street and Jonquil Lane in the Silverton section about 3:30 a.m. Saturday for a report of a hit-and-run crash. The sound of the crash woke residents and they told police a white pickup truck had hit several parked cars and then left the scene headed east on Maine Street, Messina said.

The crash left the pickup truck leaking brake fluid, Messina confirmed, and Worth and Officer John Marsicano were able to follow a significant trail of fluid and gouging in the road from the scene of the crash to Soriano’s home, where the pickup truck was found.

There were no injuries but several cars were significantly damaged in the crash.

Soriano was charged with driving while intoxicated, driving while intoxicated through a school crossing and reckless driving, and other summonses, Messina said. https://www.yahoo.com/news/brake-fluid-trail-leads-hit-213128098.html

Teen Accused Of Running Over Ex-Boyfriend At Analy High School

The 17-year-old girl was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, Sebastopol police said.

Teen Accused Of Running Over Ex-Boyfriend At Analy High School

SEBASTOPOL, CA — A 17-year-old Sonoma County girl has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder for allegedly hitting her ex-boyfriend with her car in the parking lot of Analy High School, then running over his body, according to a statement Friday from the Sebastopol Police Department.

The incident happened at about 10 a.m. Thursday and was initially reported as a hit-and-run of a pedestrian at the campus, police said. Officers who responded to the scene spoke not only with witnesses but with the teen driver as well as the victim, a 17-year-old boy.

Police said their investigation revealed the driver and the victim were previously in a dating relationship and that the driver “deliberately drove her vehicle at the victim, striking him, and then attempted to leave the scene.”Lightweight SPF MoisturizAveeno Positively Radiant Sheer Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 has Total Soy Complex & is clinically proven to help improve the look of dark spotsAd by Aveeno Masterbrand See More

The boy was walking in through the parking lot, the suspect quickly backed her car out of a parking space before allegedly accelerating directly toward him, a review of surveillance footage from the incident allegedly showed.

Police said the footage showed her slowing momentarily before accelerating again while steering toward him and deliberately striking him — knocking him to the ground.Subscribe

It is alleged that she then drove over the victim’s body.

The teen suspect was booked into Sonoma County Juvenile Detention Facility on suspicion of the attempted murder charge as well as domestic battery with injury. 

Police said the identities of the involved parties would not be released because of their status as minors.

The injuries suffered by the boy were not life-threatening, police said. https://patch.com/california/petaluma/teen-accused-running-over-ex-boyfriend-analy-high-school

Guilty Plea In DUI-Related Death Of MLK Sculptor

MCDONOUGH, GA — A man has pled guilty in the DUI-related death of Andy Davis, who sculpted the statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the grounds of the state capitol in Atlanta. On Wednesday, Corey Sease of McDonough, pled guilty to three counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of driving under the influence and one count of reckless driving. He will be sentenced in Henry County Superior Court later this month.

Davis also sculpted the Patrick Henry statue in McDonough’s square.

Davis was waiting at the light at Jodeco Road and the I-75 ramp on July 11, 2015 when Sease’s truck struck his motorcycle. Davis, 56, later died. Sease, who was 20, had alcohol and marijuana in his system at the time of the wreck.

King’s statue in Atlanta was dedicated in August 2017, with King’s family, as well as Gov. Nathan Deal and members of both Congress and the Georgia General Assembly attending. The statue was unveiled on the 54th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. https://www.yahoo.com/news/guilty-plea-dui-related-death-162939245.html

US Marines leader in Australia replaced over alcohol charge

ARWIN, Australia (AP) — The commander of more than 1,500 U.S. Marines in northern Australia was relieved of his duties after police caught him driving under the influence of alcohol, the Marine Corps said Monday.

Col. James Schnelle, 48, pleaded guilty in the Darwin Local Court on Monday to driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.102 percent after his breath was tested by police in the early hours of Sept. 30. The reading was more than double the legal limit in Australia of 0.05 percent.

The commander of the Marine Rotational Force in Darwin was “relieved of his duties on Sept. 30 due to a loss of trust and confidence,” U.S. Marines First Lt. David Mancilla said in a statement.

Schnelle later issued a statement saying “one extremely poor personal decision” should not overshadow the significant accomplishments made by the latest Marines rotation.

“A solid foundation is established; at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels, the future is ripe for continued growth,” Schnelle said.

Lt. Col. Jeramy Brady will be officer-in-charge for the duration of the rotation, Mancilla said.

Schnelle’ driver’s license was suspended for six months, and he was fined 500 Australian dollars ($353).

Magistrate Greg Cavanagh did not record a conviction because of Schnelle’s good character and lack of previous offenses. Magistrates have discretion to spare first offenders from having a police record under exceptional circumstances.

Schnelle had been drinking in a bar in Darwin’s Mitchell Street nightclub precinct and was driving to his nearby home when he was pulled over for a random breath test.

He reported to both the Hawaii-based commander of Marine Forces Pacific, Lt. Gen. Lewis Craparotta, and the commanding general of III Marine Expeditionary Force, Lt. Gen. Eric Smith, about four hours later. They called him back “to relieve him of his command,” Schnelle’s lawyer told the court.

U.S. military forces have been stationed in Darwin through a Marine Rotational Force since 2012 as part of the President Barack Obama administration’s pivot to Asia. The numbers are to eventually rise to 2,500 Marines.

Darwin-based Marines are subject to curfews and are restricted to taking leave in small groups to reduce the risk of social disruption in the city, which has a population of 140,000.

The largest contingent of Marines arrived in Darwin for six months in April. Marines First Lt. Jose Uriarte said on Tuesday that the 1,587 Marines are due to leave Darwin this month, but he would not give a date for security reasons. https://www.yahoo.com/news/us-marines-leader-australia-replaced-over-alcohol-charge-081726325.html

Motorist Waves To Cops, Gets Arrested On DUI Charge

Motorist Waves To Cops, Gets Arrested On DUI Charge: Darien PD

DARIEN, CT — A 44-year-old Darien woman was arrested on a charging of driving under the influence at about 1 a.m. on Sunday on Old Farm Road after she allegedly pulled up along side police officers and waved to them, according to Darien police.

The incident occurred near Locust Hill Road when the driver, later identified as Alison McFerran, of Sunswyck Road, was spotted by officers driving a white sedan “at an extremely slow rate of speed,” wrote Darien police in a statement.

“Officers observed as the vehicle pulled alongside a marked patrol unit parked on the side of the road and stopped. Officers, believing the vehicle may be attempting to make contact with them, began to approach the vehicle. As they got close, the vehicle suddenly drove from the scene. Unsure as to why the vehicle was driving in such a peculiar manner, officers caught up to it as it drove down the road, stopping it in the area of Tokeneke School.”

When officers asked McFerran why she was driving slowly and had stopped next to the police vehicle, she “indicated she was trying to wave hello to the officers.”

As officers spoke to “they detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage
emanating from her person,” and McFerran admitted to consuming alcohol.

She subsequently failed Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and was taken into custody.

“McFerran agreed to submit to breathalyzer testing, but failed to comply with the
instructions for providing the sample,” wrote Darien police.

She was released after posting a $250 bond, and she is scheduled to appear in Stamford Superior Court on Dec. 12. https://news.yahoo.com/motorist-waves-cops-gets-arrested-210944846.html;_ylt=AwrXnCBDVxpcCSgAcxHQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByMXM3OWtoBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwM4BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

Katie Price charged with drink driving after crashing Range Rover

Photo credit: Channel 5
Photo credit: Channel 5

Katie Price has been charged with being drunk while in charge of a motor vehicle, following her arrest in October.

The reality star was reported to have been coming from the birthday party of ex-boyfriend Kris Boyson on October 10 when she crashed her pink Range Rover in south London.

She was charged by postal requisition last week, and will now appear at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on January 7.

Photo credit: Quest Red
Photo credit: Quest Red

According to The Sun, Price crashed her car in Woolwich and was found in the vehicle by police, subsequently being given a breath test. She was reportedly held by police officers and spent the night in jail, before being released on Wednesday afternoon.

“At approximately 2am, British Transport Police officers came across a car showing signs of damage stationary at the roadside in Shooters Hill Road, Woolwich,” a Met Police spokesperson said at the time.

“A 40-year-old woman who was inside the car was arrested on suspicion of drink driving. She was taken to a south London police station.”

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Earlier this year, Price checked into rehab after being diagnosed with co-morbid post-traumatic stress disorder following a consultation at the Priory.

After the news broke, her fellow stars on Loose Women sent their best wishes for her recovery, Ruth Langsford saying: “Obviously we don’t have all of the details of what’s going on, but we would obviously like to send our very best wishes.”

“It’s anything that you’ve been through that is considered traumatic to you,” Mel B added. “I’ve only admitted that I’ve suffered from PTSD and it’s an ongoing thing.

“And I commend her for saying that out loud, because it’s difficult in the public eye.” https://uk.news.yahoo.com/katie-price-charged-drink-driving-091900341.html?guccounter=1

Son of Police Captain and State Rep Charged In DUI Crash

He was arrested Tuesday on a warrant charging him in connection with a Nov. 3 crash which closed an intersection for nearly five hours.

Son of Enfield Captain and State Rep Charged In DUI Crash

ENFIELD, CT — Following an in-depth investigation, police arrested a local man Tuesday in connection with a Nov. 3 crash which cracked a utility pole and caused closure of an intersection for about five hours.

Wesley C. Hall, 27, was served with a warrant Tuesday afternoon, charging him with operating under the influence, reckless driving and failure to use seat belt. He was released on a $2,500 nonsurety bond.

Hall is the son of Enfield Police Department Capt. Fred Hall and his wife Carol, who is the 59th District representative in the General Assembly.

The crash took place at the corner of Park and North streets in Hazardville around 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 3. Hall’s vehicle cracked a utility pole, necessitating power to be shut off in the area before he could get out of the vehicle, Chief Alaric Fox said.

A search warrant was executed at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford on Nov. 8, revealing Hall’s blood alcohol content level was 0.21, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08, Fox said.Subscribe

Hall has had brushes with the law in the past, most notably his involvement in a raging fire which destroyed the 150-year-old Somersville Mill on June 2, 2012. In that incident, Hall and two friends climbed into a broken window at the abandoned mill and walked around for 45 minutes to an hour, drinking beer and carelessly discarding cigarette butts without stamping them out, according to a state police affidavit.

After Hall and his friends departed the building, a fast-moving fire engulfed the 150,000-square-foot former textile mill, which was built in 1860. 

The three were charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree criminal trespass and third-degree criminal mischief. Arson charges were not filed because the trio had no intent to start a fire, the affidavit states.

In late Dec. 2012, all three were granted accelerated rehabilitation, a special form of probation for non-violent first-time offenders, which led to dismissal of all charges following completion of the program. https://patch.com/connecticut/enfield/son-enfield-captain-state-rep-charged-dui-crash?utm_source=oath&utm_medium=rss&utm_term=police%20&%20fire&utm_campaign=recirc&utm_content=oath&yptr=yahoo