Memorial Bike Ride Remembers Cyclist Killed in Causeway Hit and Run

Widow of Aaron Cohen leads Ride for Ryder memorial bike ride

By Donna Rapado and Brian Hamacher
|  Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012  |  Updated 2:21 PM EDT
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The "Ride for Ryder," hosted by Jackson Health System, went from the Rickenbacker Causeway to the front of Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. Patty Cohen and Enda Walsh talk to NBC 6.

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Cyclist in Rickenbacker Hit and Run Dies, Driver Arrested

Aaron Cohen, 36, who was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital following the Wednesday morning crash, died of his injuries Thursday, officials said. Miami Police say 25-year-old Michele Traverso turned himself in late Wednesday night with his attorney after officers found his badly damaged car. In bond court Thursday afternoon, the driving with a suspended license charge was dismissed, but Traverso was ordered held overnight on a separate marijuana possession charge. His bond was set at $10,000 for the leaving the scene of an accident charge and he will appear in court Friday to face the drug possession charge. “My client feels horrible about what happened,” said Traverso’s attorney, Ramon de la Cabada.
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A little wet weather Wednesday morning didn't stop dozens of South Florida cyclists from coming out for a memorial bike ride to remember a bicyclist killed in a hit and run and raise awareness of sharing the road.

The "Ride for Ryder," hosted by Jackson Health System, went from the Rickenbacker Causeway to the front of Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The ride is part of Ryder's 20th anniversary celebration and to honor Aaron Cohen, the 36-year-old cyclist who was killed in a hit-and-run crash while riding his bicycle on the causeway on Feb. 15.

Cohen's widow, Patty, lead the ride in honor of her husband, along with Jackson CEO Carlos Migoya.

"We can't live in a place where it's okay to hit someone and drive away," Patty Cohen said. "It is also of the utmost importance and this issue also particularly hits home. I can not raise my children in a place where people are not held accountable for running people over and driving away, it's not the kind of society we live in and it can't be accepted."

Enda Walsh, who was riding with Cohen and was also struck by the driver and treated at Ryder, also took part in the ride. He says the attitude among South Florida drivers has to change.

"I think there's an attitude in Miami that it's okay to drive drunk, that it's okay to run red lights, that it's okay to text and drive," Walsh said. "And that affects all issues on the road -- not just cyclists -- but it particularly affects us. There's been a number of cyclists hit and killed in the last three months, even two days ago there was a cyclist killed in Broward."

Ryder hopes to raise awareness of the importance of motorists, cyclists, runners and pedestrians sharing the road.

Migoya said he knows first-hand how vital the trauma team at Ryder is.

"I've been cycling for many, many years and I personally was involved in an accident which I had to come here," Migoya said. "And if it hadn't been for the trauma center I probably would've lost the use of my right hand."

 

Hundreds of Cyclists in "Ride of Silence" on Rickenbacker

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