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Jupiter Police Considering Charges Against Driver Who Hit Bicycling Firefighter

As a Cooper City bicycle accident attorney, I was sorry to read about another death from a bicycling accident in Palm Beach County. As the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Feb. 8, a Boca Raton firefighter was killed the day before. John Wilson, 50, was bicycling during off-duty time in his home town of Jupiter. He was reportedly hit by an SUV driver, 66-year-old Myron Umbel. Wilson was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach but died. The Palm Beach Post reported Feb. 8 that Jupiter police are still considering whether to file charges against Umbel, and that investigation could take at least a week.

Wilson was a former chef and restaurant owner who made a career change to become a firefighter with the Boca Raton Fire-Rescue agency. Friends said he chose to live in Jupiter because he felt it was friendly to pedestrians and bicyclists. Wilson was bicycling through a crosswalk at the intersection of Indiantown Road and Maplewood Drive when the accident happened. Umbel, a part-time Jupiter resident who is also a permanent resident of Maryland, was reportedly coming from Maplewood Drive. He was trying to turn east onto Indiantown when he hit Wilson. The crash knocked Wilson unconscious. He was airlifted to the hospital but died shortly after his arrival.

I look forward to seeing how the investigation of Umbel turns out, as a Margate bicycle accident lawyer. As it happens, the intersection where this accident took place is T-shaped, which means Umbel could only have been making a right turn if he was turning east. That makes it hard to see how he could have missed seeing Wilson in the crosswalk. There could be other mitigating circumstances, of course – for example, Wilson could have run a red light or stop sign. But if Umbel is found to be at fault for the accident, he could face criminal charges as well as a civil lawsuit from Wilson’s survivors, who include his three adult sons.

If your family has suffered a serious bicycle crash, you should call the experienced Coral Springs bicycle accident attorneys at Cohn, Smith & Cohn right away. Based in Pembroke Pines, we represent people throughout Florida who were seriously injured or lost a loved one on a bicycle because of someone else’s bad decisions in traffic. In bicycle accidents, this usually means the bad decisions of a driver and those decisions have serious consequences. Bicycle riders simply don’t have the protections of seatbelts, airbags and steel cages that drivers have, and that means they can be very badly hurt in a crash that would have been minor if they have been in cars. When this kind of crash is someone else’s fault, we make sure our clients can collect all the compensation they need from the at-fault driver and his or her insurance company.

Cohn, Smith & Cohn offers free consultations, so you can tell us your story and learn about your legal rights at no obligation and no cost. To set up a meeting, call us today at (954) 431-8100 or send us a message through our website.

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