He Ignored Every Warning They Had On The Bridge, And It Resulted In…
While cycling from Aventura, Florida, to Key Biscayne, a cyclist fell through a gap to his death as he cyclist tried to clear it nonetheless, although a warning sign and a whistle blew to warn him not to cross the bridge.
Fred Medina, age 58, was unable to get through a gap in the bridge that crosses the Miami River from Brickell to downtown Miami. The father of two then died after falling from a bridge.
Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Fallat told the Miami Herald that Medina was out cycling with a friend when the freak accident unfolded around 6 am on a Wednesday morning. The barriers started coming down on the bridge and the alarm sounded but Medina made his way onto the bridge anyway, with the avid experienced cyclist, presumably believing he could make it over in time.
According to Medina’s friend Stephen Tannenbaum, who traveled the same path as Medina, their other friend Steve was able to cross the drawbridge before Medina. Medina was left clinging to the rising bridge since he attempted to cross the drawbridge too quickly because he didn't want to wait for it to finish.
Tannenbaum said, “Our friend Steve, the other guy who was there, turned back and waited, and he looked up, and Fred was on the bridge on the draw bridge section as it was going up.”
The bridge kept rising despite his attempts to grab the operator's attention, as Steve tried to alert the bridge operator to Medina’s presence, Tannenbaum told the media. He said, “I don’t know if [Medina] realized he had gone too far, and I guess the bridge tender didn’t hear my friend yelling as he was up in the air.”
Medina attempted to hold on to the bridge but was unsuccessful. He died after falling to the road below. Tannenbaum said, “He slid down the bridge and fell in between the section of the bridge that moves and the fixed part of the roadway.”
Medina was not responding when the police came. The South Miami Avenue Bridge was shut down following the tragedy for just three hours. Authorities started an investigation and forced drivers, passengers, and other bikers to take a different route to get where they needed to go.
However, the Downtown Development Authority and the Florida Department of Transportation could not agree on a solution, leaving the bridge open to accidents like this one, although Local authorities had been trying to improve safety at the bridge by installing gates that would prevent people like Medina from sneaking on the bridge while it was lifting.
“To me, this is about cycling safety and making sure the city, county, and state have the right infrastructure to make cycling safe for everyone in the city,” Miami Commissioner Ken Russell said, using the tragedy to promote bicycle safety.
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