Bicyclist leaves sidewalk, struck by vehicle on New Year’s Eve on SR 70 in Okeechobee County

OKEECHOBEE  — An 18-year-old Okeechobee man died as an apparent result of the injuries he sustained in a traffic crash that occurred at approximately 6:41 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017 on State Road 70 at Southwest 24th Avenue in Okeechobee County.

A Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) press release stated that the teen was pronounced dead by the District 19 Medical Examiner.

According to the FHP report,  a 2010  Chevrolet Silverado truck, operated by Quinn Garrett Johnson, 24, of Okeechobee, was westbound on State Road 70 and that the 18-year-old was riding a bicycle  eastbound on the sidewalk that runs parallel to State Road 70, just before the accident occurred.

The report  states that the bicyclist left the sidewalk and traveled onto the road into the path of the truck. The Chevrolet then struck the bicyclist. The impact caused the 18-year-old to be thrown in the same westerly direction the truckt was traveling.

The bicyclist came to final rest in the center median at the intersection of State Road 70 and Southwest 24th Avenue. The Chevrolet stopped between the westbound travel lane and the left turn lane.

The bicyclist was later identified by FHP as James David Cunningham of Okeechobee.

The incident was investigated by Trooper Tomas Corey, FHP crash investigator and Trooper Corporal Lawrence Quinto, FHP homicide investigator.

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