Nicole Vanderweit, was driving eastbound on SR 84 when she struck a group of 14 cyclists. The riders were part of the Cycling Family Broward club. Rider Denise Marsh, 53, of Weston, a married mother of two, was vice president of the Cycling Family Broward. Sadly, Denise died about an hour after the 8:38 a.m. crash and two other riders were hospitalized.
The driver, Nicole Vanderweit claimed she was distracted by something in her car-but could not remember what. Additionally, she said the sun was in her eyes and she could not see. Vanderweit gave police her phone as well as permission to download crash data from her car. Based on the physical damage to the bicycles and Vanderweit’s car, it is apparent she was traveling at a high rate of speed. It would appear as if she never saw the group of 14 cyclists. Obviously, this would be consistent with someone who was “distracted” and yes, probably “distracted” by her cellphone.
When is An “Accident” not an “Accident”? When you crash into a group of cyclists while driving at a high rate of speed, with sun in your eyes, and on your cellphone. If those are the facts, and they appear to be, then this was not an “Accident”. It was Reckless behavior which could lead to criminal punishment and punitive damages.