Sweetwater, FL – An unidentified FIU student operating a bicycle on 109 Avenue in Sweetwater was struck by a motorist Tuesday afternoon. The incident occurred on the intersection of 109 avenue and South West 6th street, one block some South of the Sweetwater Police Department. A small crowd formed at the scene including Mayor Lopez in addition to a few officers that responded on foot.
The driver of the white Honda Pilot who struck the bicyclist claims she did not see the student before she ran over the bicycle, causing the bicycle to be jammed into the undercarriage of the vehicle. The female bicyclist suffered minor injuries and was visibly shaken, displaying signs of being in shock while Sweetwater Police and Miami Dade Fire crews responding to the scene tried to communicate with her. She was later transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center for further medical treatment.
Sweetwater Police Spokeswoman Claudia Miro told Sweetwater Post the bicyclist was headed South on 109 avenue against oncoming traffic. The driver was not cited for any moving violation.
Although the precise number of accidents involving FIU students and motorists in Sweetwater is unknown, with 109 avenue getting such an intense mix of traffic from motorists and FIU students traveling on foot, bicycle, skateboards, or even hoverboards, the safety of pedestrians is a major cause for concern for some FIU students.
“I travel on 109 avenue several times a day, at times using my hoverboard… I’ve had some close calls with drivers in Sweetwater, it seems many don’t care about pedestrians.” remarked Jenny H., a Junior studying Business Administration at FIU.
The incident comes as the City of Sweetwater is less than two years away from major changes to S.W. 109 avenue, with widened pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and plans to increase efficiency of public transit via the UniversityCity Transit Management Association (UTMA), a unique, on-demand transit system labeled as “Uber for Public Transit” by UTMA board members.