Fatal Accident Caused Death of Bicyclist (Tracey Kleinpell) – Closes Down Causeway

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In Jacksonville, Florida, riding bicycles is a great way to enjoy a beautiful day, as well as a fun way to exercise. Under Florida law, the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle, which means that bicyclists have the same rights to use the roadways as other vehicles. As such, bicyclists can be involved in vehicle collisions and face an increased risk of injury or death as a result.
Sadly, Tracey Kleinpell, 46-year-old cyclist from Fort Myers was killed while riding her bike on the Sanibel Causeway. Tracey and her husband, Gordon Kleinpell, were riding their bikes along the causeway in the early afternoon. It was reported that a truck driven by Theresa Lynn Shirley, a resident of Bokeelia, swayed into the bike lane and struck Tracey on her bicycle. Tracey was ejected off her bike and into the San Carlos Bay. A nearby boater pulled the cyclist from the water, but attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.
Florida Highway Patrol Officials are conducting an investigation into this fatal accident. It has not yet been determined whether the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel while under the influence of medication or suffered from any medical condition which may have caused the accident. The Caloosa Riders and Bonita Bay Bicycle Club dedicated their annual “Ride of Silence” last Wednesday as a tribute to Kleinpell and Janet Rae LoFranco, another bicyclist from Estero who was killed while riding her bike.
There is only one road, and it is up to Florida bicyclists and motorists to treat each other with caution and respect. In the event that you are involved in a crash with a motor vehicle while riding your bike, always report the crash. Florida law requires you to report the crash where there are personal injuries or damage to property that exceeds $500. Even when not required by law, reporting the crash is critical to preserving your rights. To learn more about Florida’s bicycle laws, visit the Florida’s Bicycle Association. For other information on this article, see Cyclist, 46, killed in tragic accident along causeway.

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