Bicycle Injury Attorney Tampa Florida

Tragedies Close to Home for Florida Cyclists


Last year, we took a look at some of the cycling tragedies of 2022, and we’re sorry to say that 2023 is shaping up in the same way. For us, it reinforces what we already know to be true: Florida continues to be the deadliest state for cyclists. 

Let’s take a look at some recent tragedies that have hit close to home and how the heartbroken cycling community continues to rally around. 

The cycling champion

It’s truly heartbreaking to learn that 25-year-old Ph.D. student Jake Boykin was completing his final training cycle before competing in the Six Gap Century race in Georgia when he was fatally struck by a pickup truck. The hit and run happened on 22nd September in Jefferson County, and the 60-year-old driver fled the scene. 

A statement from Boykin’s friends and family on The USA Cycling memorial post remarked on his enthusiasm for life and his passion to make himself and others better. “For every bit as incredible a cyclist as Jake was, he managed to be an even more incredible human being.”

The 9-year-old riding his bicycle to play

On 29th September, Polk County sheriff’s deputies began to search for the driver responsible for hitting and killing a 9-year-old Andres Martinez. The boy was riding his bicycle on Hutchins Road to a friend’s house after school, months from his 10th birthday. 

Sheriff Grady Judd said “It is beyond comprehension that anyone could hit another person with their vehicle and not stop to render aid, to help, to report what happened. But that’s even a thousand times worse when it’s a child, a little 9-year-old boy. He was doing what little boys do after school. He was going to one of his friends to play.”

The high school senior on his way to classes

At the beginning of October, 17-year-old Sherman Vannoy was cycling to Lake Minneola High School when he was knocked off his bike and killed. The driver of the school bus that struck him turned left onto a crosswalk meters from the school’s entrance. Vannoy later passed away in hospital. Sadly, it is understood that Vannoy was not wearing his helmet at the time.

The community has been devastated by the accident. Local parent Robbi Mitchell said in a Facebook post about the accident “As a mom of two teenage boys that choose to bike to school every day a few miles away from this horrific tragedy, this fear has unfortunately crossed my mind more than once.”

A community of cyclists

As cyclists ourselves, these news stories hit a nerve. Cycling is a wonderful way to exercise and cyclists in Florida are like a community. Yet it’s no wonder that cyclists may be fearful.

As cyclists, let’s do our bit by maintaining our bikes, following the guidelines to exercise safely, and never pedaling a bike without our helmets.

Let’s also spread the word that these Florida roads are for all of us.

We are tired of picking up a newspaper or turning on the TV in the morning and hearing about a drunk or distracted driver taking a precious life or causing serious injuries.

Ride on

Remember, there is help available if you ever suffer the physical or emotional trauma of a near miss or collision while riding your bike. And you’re going to need all of the help you can get if this happens because you’ll be dealing with scary medical bills, shock, loss of income, and pain.

The compassionate and experienced team at Jenkins Law P.L. specializes in the area of bicycle injury, so we know how to get you back on that bike.

Reach out with any questions.