Hundreds of riders pay tribute to fallen cyclists in Davie

Distracted driver slammed into pack of riders last month, killing 2


DAVIE, Fla. – Hundreds of riders took to the streets of Broward County early Saturday to pay tribute to two cyclists who were killed by a distracted driver last month.

The silent ride spanned about 20 miles and was intended to attract support for safer roads for cyclists and drivers. Organizers have been working with Broward cities to install real-time speed limit checkers to encourage drivers to slow down and share the road with bikers.

Bike riders from as far away as Homestead were expected to take part.

Davie police said 33-year-old Nicole Vanderweit was driving along State Road 84 near Southwest 148th Avenue around 8:30 a.m. Nov. 25 when she struck a group cyclists. Denise Marsh, 53, and Carlos Rodriguez, 62, were killed in the crash and three others were seriously hurt.

Police said Vanderweit was distracted by the bright sun and something inside her car. Police said they did not believe Vanderweit was using her phone at the time of the crash and she has turned the device over to authorities.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we saw 800 to 1,000 people come out. The cycling community is very tight," Arnie Prieto, president of Cycling Family Broward, said before the ride.