A fatal car accident on Sunday afternoon has left a bicyclist dead. Terry W. Sims, a 49-year-old from Navarre, died Tuesday at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola after succumbing to his injuries, the Florida Highway Patrol announced in a press release today.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Victor L. Byers, age 16, was driving his 1992 Dodge pickup westbound on Highway 98 at around 4 p.m. on Sunday when he momentarily lost control of his vehicle. His truck went onto the right shoulder of the road near the intersection of Panhandle Trail, where Sims was riding his bicycle. The front end of Byers’ pickup struck the back tire of Sims’ bicycle and caused the ultimately fatal accident.
Sims, who was not wearing a helmet, was taken to the Baptist Hospital in critical condition. Byers, who was wearing a seatbelt, was not injured in the car accident. The Florida Highway Patrol has already determined that alcohol was not a factor in the wreck.
After an initial investigation at the time of the crash, the FHP trooper called to scene cited Byers with careless driving. However, now that Sims has passed away, the FHP has assigned a traffic homicide investigator to look into the incident further.
Any potential criminal charges, as well as any possible liability for wrongful death Byers may face, both depend in large part on information that will be gathered during the new investigation.
No new charges have been filed, but the Florida Highway Patrol released a second, updated press release today confirming that the investigation is still underway and stating that charges are pending its completion.
“Bicyclist in U.S. 98 crash dies; traffic homicide investigation under way” (Northwest Florida Daily News, June 18, 2010)