Cyclist in Rickenbacker Hit and Run Dies, Driver Arrested

Charges for driver in crash that sent two cyclists to hospital

More than 100 people gathered on the Rickenbacker Causeway Thursday night to remember Aaron Cohen, 36, a cyclist who died of his injuries the day after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver, hospital officials said.

They said Thursday afternoon that Cohen, who was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital following the Wednesday morning crash, had died, just hours after police arrested the driver.

Cohen was part of Team FDC, and many runners came out to remember their teammate Thursday, at the bridge that dozens of them run over every Saturday morning. Holding roses and a picture of Cohen, they hit the pavement in his honor.

"Like one of our family members died. I was in shock," Betty Roca said. "We're not just a running team. We truly are a family."

Miami Police said 25-year-old Michele Traverso turned himself in late Wednesday night with his attorney after officers found his badly damaged car.

Traverso was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury and driving with a suspended license, Miami Police spokeswoman Keandra Simmons said Thursday.

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.

He said Traverso came to his office quickly.

"We were at the police station, we were contacting law enforcement in the afternoon,” he said.

The incident happened shortly before 6 a.m. Wednesday on the eastbound side of the causeway near the William Powell Bridge, as a group of bikers was heading to Key Biscayne.

Cyclists Cohen and Enda Walsh were both injured and rushed to the hospital. Walsh was later released after treatment for a leg injury.

Police had said Wednesday that Cohen, an experienced biker, Ironman competitor and marathoner, was in critical condition and might not survive his injuries. His wife Patti Cohen told NBC 6 Miami he had sustained a massive head injury.

Outside the hospital Thursday, before Cohen was pronounced dead, Cohen's father choked up as he talked about his son.

"He is the most precious thing in the world to his mother and it is with total disbelief that something like this would happen to someone who is so good, so honest and such a loving father," Stephen Cohen said. "I can't express what tremendous concern and hurt this is to me and all the members of our family."

Police had described the car the suspect fled in as a silver 2009-2011 Honda. But late Wednesday, officers were seen inspecting a black Honda Civic which was found at a condo complex on Key Biscayne at 600 Grapetree Drive with extensive damage to its hood and windshield.

Authorities haven't confirmed whether the damaged Civic is related to the hit and run.

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