Injured cyclists were members of Galera do Pedal, a mostly Brazilian group

By Anne Geggis

An early-morning crash had one bicyclist on life support and another in an induced coma after an SUV driver plowed into a group of cyclists along State Road A1A in Gulf Stream Jan. 4, according to a fellow bike club member.

The Florida Highway Patrol, which is investigating the 6:45 a.m. incident in the 2800 block of North Ocean Boulevard, reported late in the day that a 77-year-old Lantana woman driving a 2020 Kia Sol southbound on A1A crossed over the center line and into a group of eight cyclists traveling northbound. 

Seven victims, including the driver of the SUV, were taken to Delray Medical Center and Bethesda Hospital East, according to Delray Beach Fire Rescue.

FHP’s report issued after business hours on Thursday, however, only mentioned two injured: The SUV’s driver, who it said had sustained “non-incapacitating injuries,” and one cyclist, a  43-year-old Boca Raton man who received “incapacitating injuries.”

Felipe Costa, president of  the Galera do Pedal, a bicycle club with members mostly from the Boca Raton-Deerfield Beach area, said he was getting updates from the hospital from fellow members about what happened to the six cyclists taken to the hospital. A husband and wife sustained the most severe injuries among the cyclists, he said

“It’s bad news,” said Costa, after describing the life-threatening condition of the husband. The wife was in an induced coma, he said. The Coastal Star is not publishing their names, which officials have not confirmed, at this time.

The most serious cases were taken to Delray Medical Center, which has a trauma center. Another person sustained broken legs and another one of the seven cyclists had a cut in the accident, Costa said.

The bicycle club, Galera do Pedal, with 813 Facebook followers mostly of Brazilian heritage, has Tuesday and Thursday rides along A1A, Costa said. They begin with bicyclists meeting up in The Cove, a Deerfield Beach shopping center near the Intracoastal Waterway, around 6:30 a.m. Usually, they turn around when they hit Lake Worth Beach. Costa has done that ride many times himself, he said.

This time, the group didn’t reach its northern point.

The crash occurred less than half a mile south of Golfview Drive, 

Michael Simon, president of the Boca Raton Bicycle Club, has pedaled that stretch of road hundreds of times. Usually, it’s quiet and the speed limit is 35 mph, he said.

There was an effort to widen the roadway in this area years ago, he recalled. But sometimes there’s nowhere to go to avoid danger, he said.

“When you’re unprotected on a bike, there’s always the risk of a distracted driver,” Simon said. “This one is a tragedy.”

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