2 cyclists released from hospital after crash involving distracted driver

Maria Bautista, John Beitz among several injured Sunday morning in Davie

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Two people who were injured when a distracted driver crashed her car into a pack of cyclists have been released from a hospital.

A representative for Broward Health Medical Center said Monday that Maria Bautista and John Beitz have been released.

Davie police Sgt. Mark Leone said the driver of a 2012 Honda Fit admitted to being distracted when she struck the cyclists Sunday morning along State Road 84.

"She did say she was distracted by something in her vehicle," Leone said. "We're unsure of what it was."

The 33-year-old driver was later identified as Nicole Vanderweit. She remained at the scene.

"We do not believe that speed, alcohol or drugs were a factor," Leone said.

Cellphone video showed other riders tending to the fallen cyclists moments after they were struck.

"The driver said, based on the sun in her eyes and the distraction, that she didn't even see the bicyclists when she struck them," Leone said.

Several of the 14 cyclists were injured, including Carlos Rodriguez. The 62-year-old man was rushed into surgery.

Denise Marsh, 53, was also struck and later died.

The group was part of a cycling club called Cycling Family Broward.

"In this area there is not a designated bicycle lane," Leone said. "It's a share-the-road situation."

Police are still investigating.

About the Authors:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.