Bicyclist recovers after driver hits him in Virginia Key

After surviving crash, Anthony 'Tony' Napoliello recovers from surgery

VIRGINIA KEY, Fla. – A woman who was making a left turn in Virginia Key hit Seth Colbentz and his friend, Anthony "Tony" Napoliello. 

Colbentz wasn't seriously injured, but he saw his friend Napoliello bleeding, after he hit the windshield and the impact propelled him to the ground.

"She just clipped me and put me in the dirt," Colbentz said. "Unfortunately my friend Tony had no space, so he went straight into the windshield and smashed it with his head."

Napoliello was wearing a helmet and survived the Thursday hit. He remained hospitalized on Friday and was recovering from surgery. He suffered fractures to his hip. He also broke his fingers and hurt his chin.

Colbentz said when the woman came from behind them, they were riding their bicycles off to the side of the road and they were following the rules. 

"She was hysterical, screaming, crying, kind of falling to pieces saying she didn't see us and she was so sorry," Colbentz said. 

The woman waited for police officers to arrive. And although Napoliello survived, he will have to live with a metal plate on his hip for the rest of his life. 

Colbentz believes authorities in Miami need to do more to protect Miami's cycling community

About two years ago, Alejandro Alvarez, 21, ran over Walter Reyes, 59, who was riding his bicycle on the Rickenbacker Causeway in Virginia Key. Reyes died. Alvarez was sentenced to two years in prison after he plead guilty to DUI manslaughter. 

Christophe LeCanne was killed in Virginia Key, Fla.

In 2013, Carlos Bertonatti, 32, ran over  Christophe LeCanne, 44, and dragged his bicycle for about two miles in Virginia Key before police officers stopped him. LeCanne died and  Bertonatti was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to DIU manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident involving a death and resisting arrest without violence. 

Aaron Cohen was killed in Virginia Key, Fla.

In 2012, Michele Traverso, 25, ran over and killed Aaron Cohen, 36, in the same area. He plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident involving a fatality. He was sentenced to 22.6 months behind bars. The case prompted tougher sentencing guidelines for hit-and-run crashes.

Colbentz said drivers need to be more careful in areas that cyclists frequent. He wants more signs to alert drivers and police to get tougher on speeding.

About the Authors:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.