As I have often stated Florida is the deadliest state to ride a bicycle. A recently released video shows how Anthony Moffa, an 18 year old, struck and killed Forest Flaniken, 53, a husband and father of three who was riding his bicycle in the bike lane down a stretch of Avalon Boulevard.
The teen, who was high on synthetic drugs, struck the cyclist, and as is par for the course in Florida, kept going. Thankfully, a motorist saw the accident and chased Moffa down. The motorist then shot a video where Moffa confessed to being high on a synthetic drug, known as K2.
The video shows the following question and answer sequence:
Witness: Anthony, that’s your pipe right there?
Witness: You were the one driving the car?
Moffa: Yes sir.
Witness: You’re high right now?
Moffa: Yes sir.
The witness who pulled Moffa over and shot the video, is the ultimate good samaritan.
It is important to note that this accident took place in a bike lane. So while cities can take action to minimize the dangers posed to cyclist, there is nothing that can keep us safe from a motorist who is high on drugs and gets behind the wheel of a car.
While cities across the state of Florida have made a number of improvements to encourage biking safety, Florida still had more bicycle and pedestrian fatalities than any other state during 2011, according to the 2012 Miami-Dade County Bicycle Safety Plan. In fact, there were more than 5,000 bicycle crashes in Florida in 2011. These wrecks resulted in 4,632 riders injured and 120 killed, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. These fatalities account for almost four percent of all traffic fatalities in Florida, and accidents in just six counties comprise more than half of the deaths. The most dangerous counties for bikers in Florida are Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.