I have often written about the danger of bicycle riding in South Florida. Cyclist are confronted with angry drivers, distracted drivers, and on Wednesday a cyclist was struck by driver under the influence of narcotics.
Ikuyo Ohigashi was arrested Wednesday afternoon on charges of DUI property damage and DUI serious bodily injury to another. Ohigashi, was traveling west on Lake Worth Road at about 12:18 p.m. Wednesday when she struck 65-year-old Pertti Viljo Savela, who was riding his bicycle in the bicycle lane near Corrigan Court.
Savela, was thrown from his bike and hit his head on Ohigashi’s windshield, shattering the glass. He suffered a brain injury, multiple rib fractures, a bruised lung, and a large laceration on his head. He was flown by Trauma Hawk to Delray Medical Center.
As reported by The Palm Beach Post, Ohigashi told deputies she saw Savela in the bicycle lane and thought he “wobbled over” into her vehicle lane. She also told a deputy that she had taken a 750 mg Vicodin pill several hours before the crash.
She tested negative for alcohol in her system and was too dehydrated for an accurate blood test, which is an indicator of narcotic use, the affidavit said.
Less than two hours before she hit Savela, Ohigashi’s SUV crashed into a Dumpster which in turn pushed into another car in a Palm Beach parking lot, according to Palm Beach police. She was charged with failure to leave information. She also reported to deputies that she had hit a tree or shrub as she left her home. Palm Beach police said she also was involved in a crash on Sunday.