Riding a bicycle instead of driving a car is good for your health, your budget and the environment—but it turned fatal for one Fort Lauderdale cyclist. 52 year old Daniel Mocker was killed by a hit and run driver, even though he was following all cycling laws.
The accident happened in the evening on Federal Highway. Witnesses say that Mocker was in a designated bike lane, which vehicle traffic is not supposed to enter. That apparently didn’t stop Andrew Goldman, 23, from veering over and hitting the cyclist. Mocker ended up on the hood of Goldman’s SUV, but Goldman didn’t stop. Eventually Mocker fell off into the roadway, and was declared dead at the scene by first responders.
Goldman’s father has defended his actions, saying that he was in shock but quickly pulled over. He also says that Mocker was the one who veered out into traffic, taking Goldman by surprise. But police say both of these claims have been contradicted by eyewitnesses.
According to police reports, Goldman didn’t even slow down. Another driver who saw the accident decided to follow him to make sure he didn’t get away. That driver didn’t take any vigilante action, but simply called police and stayed on Goldman’s tail until he could be apprehended. He then helped identify Goldman as the one responsible for the fatal accident.
Police say they are now investigating whether alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident.
For those of us who enjoy bicycling, this is a grim reminder of the dangers of traffic. Often, when a car hits a bike the media blames the cyclist—perhaps they weren’t wearing a helmet or didn’t use lights. But Mocker appears to have been doing everything correct in this case. The truth is that bicycles are just much more vulnerable than cars and trucks, and it takes careful driving—not just careful cycling—to prevent deaths.
Daniel Mocket moved to Florida 20 years ago to enjoy the beaches and warm weather, working independently as the head of his own web design business. Originally from St. Louis, his family says he was a carefree individual. He had a girlfriend and biked everywhere, preferring to be outside rather than in a car.
Bicyclists have rights on the road and all too often their lives are put in danger by drivers who don’t know the rules. Legally, bicycle accidents are the same as pedestrian accidents, and cyclists are eligible to receive compensation for their injuries and damages from whoever was at fault.