Memorial Held For Cyclist Killed On Rickenbacker Causeway

MIAMI (CBSMiami) –A memorial was held on the Rickenbacker Causeway Thursday night for a cyclist who was fatally struck there the day before.

Aaron Cohen, 37, died Thursday after he was removed from life-support. He suffering serious injuries when a car struck him and his riding partner Enda Walsh, 48, on the bridge.

The driver of the car which struck the two cyclists has been charged, but the charges will be upgraded after Cohen’s death.

Using debris from the accident scene, Miami police officers were able to determine the make of the car and found it parked in a Key Biscayne condo parking lot. Sources tell CBS4 Michele Traverso may have turned himself in after seeing police inspect his car, which he can see from the window of his unit.

Wednesday night Michele Traverso, 25, showed up at the police station with a lawyer to turn himself in. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with bodily injury and driving with a suspended license.

Last May, Traverso was charged with possession of cocaine.  In 2009, he was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.

Traverso was in a court-ordered drug program and driving without a license at the time of the  accident.

“He had no enemies,” said Cohen’s father Stephen. “He never had a bad word to say about anybody. He was a fierce competitor. He was the kind of son that every father dreams about.”

“As you can imagine I’m totally distraught,” said Cohen’s father Stephen.  “Aaron is probably the nicest person who has ever lived.”

Stephen Cohen said his son was great husband and father of two.

“There isn’t a person who Aaron met in his life who he didn’t figure out how to improve their lives, “said Cohen’s aunt Susan Snyder. “He was a remarkable, remarkable young man.”

At a memorial on the Rickenbacker Bridge Thursday night, friends remembered Cohen’s bright spirit.

“If it was a rainy day he’d write it’s time to go racing and we’d text him back and say it might rain and he’d say ‘well it might not’,” said Cohen’s friend Anthony Gonzalez.

“He certainly lived an exemplary life we don’t know when aaron slept we really don’t. He was encompassed in his work, in his passion for his racing, and activities and more than anything else his family,” said Co-worker Eddie Lopez. “His children were a huge part of his life. The days that he couldn’t train it was because he was with his kids.”

The other injured cyclist, 48-year old Enda Walsh, suffered a broken leg.

“We were cycling up the Key Biscayne bridge side by side, in the bike lane, having a conversation. We didn’t even see anything. then there was a loud bang and the next thing you know I was on the ground and Aaron was 30 feet up the road lying on his back on the road not moving,” said Walsh.

“It’s shocking and I worry every time they go out because so many accidents happen especially there even though there are bike lanes,” said Mary Walsh, Enda’s wife.

Enda said both he and Cohen were wearing helmets and both were in the bike lane obeying the law.

Traverso was ordered held until he could make an appearance before the judge in his cocaine case, who could revoke his probation.

  • juan caca

    wow the 2nd cyclist was 480 years old! thats impressive

    • HAHA


      • Glades2

        Please – forget the typos and be considerate of friends and family of the victim who are reading this!!!

        CBS4 – please consider closing this article to comments – thanks…

    • Brittney R

      He also “suffered a leg”!

  • Sandtra Davis

    Where I grew up in West Spfld. Mass. it was mandatory to ride your bike facing traffic, (1950’s) that way you could see what was coming at you and take evasive action. Made a hell of lot more sense that these suicidal laws here in Florid.

    • Kathryn

      how do you evade a car that swerves out of its lane coming straight at you while speeding? In a car you couldn’t do that-

    • Mark Durocher

      Sorry but I too grew up in westpringfield Mass. Home of the Terriers Right in Amostown RD behind the High sohool ( proof I’m real) But your incorrect the law has always been to move with traffic, We are subject to all traffic laws just like the vehicles. Just wanted to clear up.

    • chad

      You ride with the flow of traffic so cars look for you.. When you pull out onto the road to make a right turn, you look to your left to see if a car is coming then pull out. You aren’t expecting anything coming from your right, if there were a cyclist coming down the road at 20 mph the opposite direction of traffic, you’d probably pull out right in front of him. or into him……

  • Vivian

    Regardless of the laws here in Florida, or what the article has misprinted, so idiot hit these two men and just took off… what kind of a person does that???? These men have families that are now suffering because this one person was not carefull enough to notice that there were cyclist there, If you live in Miami you’ve been up that bridge at least once you know the lanes are pretty wide, how could you not see them unless you were impaired in some way. My heart goes out the Mr. Cohen’s family and freinds.

  • Anonymous

    What 3rd grader wrote this article?!? “480 years old and suffered a leg?!” Get it together.

    • SMH

      My third grader would have done a better job! Editing FAIL!!

  • laura

    i agree. unfortunately in miami, we were taught to ride “with” traffic and walk “against.” as to the idiotic comments above, don’t you recognize a typo when you see one?
    i actually felt sorry for the offender yesterday – but now that i’ve learned he was driving with a suspended license and his arrests for various drug charges, i say hang him on the courthouse steps. he has caused tremendous, indescribable sorrow for aaron, his family and all those who know and love him.

    • Your worst nightmare

      You felt sorry for the offender? What a disgrace.

      • laura

        i felt sorry for a second – don’t misconstrue my comment. these men are very good friends of a family member of mine. i only meant in my sadness, knowing whoever did this, when he was caught, his life, as he knows it, would be over. now that i’ve read his arrest reports, etc., and learned he was actually in drug rehab. i have no sorrow for this man whatsoever. again, my emotions were fleeting!

    • SMH

      Cyclists and pedestirans are in danger no matter which side of the road they ride on, drivers are too distracted and disrespectful of shared road space. As for the typos, I expect that in blogs and comments, not from a media outlet where someone’s job is to make sure their articles are grammatically correct…

    • cyclist

      felt sorry for the offender AFTER you learned that about his previous incidents?!?!?!? How about the fact that he fatally injured someone and left the scene of a crime???

      • laura

        read my comment correctly. the sadness was initial and fleeting. upon learning of his history – i felt no compassion whatsoever. get it right!

  • Jessica

    Congrats for making it to the big 480!!!

  • Secret Critic

    The “480” year old woman suffered a “leg”?!?!?!?!? Who wrote this?!?!?!

  • Morris B

    hahahaha! finally came on this website after a while and first story I click on says the person was 480 years old. i bet suffering a leg is pretty bad, lol. fire your writer. they’re probably worn out and tired. hire people who actually abide to journalism and copy editing rules!.. and will honor the job.

  • Clo56

    Howdy everbody!! I’z rote this. My name is Jethro Bodine. I’z got me a fith grade edyucation.

  • C Trucker

    Bikers need to stay off the freakin road and go on a bike trail!!!! This is not France its Miami!!

    • Noel

      you Mister “C Trucker”, are a total jerk.

    • lm

      Move to “boondocks” where “C. Truckers” live and no civilized people ever go!!!! People like you are responsible for accidents like this! And it’s sad that you think that US is less civilized than France… Shows the level of your development…

    • christy

      U Trucker are a jerk! Bicyclists as well as motorcyclists have every right to travel on the same roads as cars, trucks SUV’s,etc. ESPECIALLY IF THERE IS A LANE PROVIDED FOR THEM! Come out of the rock you live under and realize that some people are trying to be healthy and not a fat slob couch potato! Aaron helped to train a friend of mine for his first Iron Man competition. He deserved better than to be run down lke a stray animal!

    • ism

      Share the road

      • C Trucker

        theres no roads to share,there all under construction….

    • Brianna

      If you don’t like the law, work to change the law. In Miami, it is perfectly legal to right on the ‘freakin road’. In fact, they WERE riding on a ‘bike trail’, they were in the clearly marked and very wide bike lane, created just so cyclists can ride safely out of the way of cars.

      It is, however, illegal to drive with a suspended license, not maintain control of your vehicle, and to leave the scene of the accident.

      If people can’t avoid crossing the bright, white, painted lines that divide lanes, perhaps they shouldn’t operate a vehicle. In fact, if you find it THAT DIFFICULT to change lanes or move over to pass a cyclist, you should probably turn your license in. As a motorist, I’m more delayed by busses, mail trucks and double-parked delivery vehicles.

      • C Trucker

        You can stay in denial all you like,but this is miami your asking for a death wish with a bike here. Yes there traffic laws but you and I know no one follows them here. Move to France!!!!!

      • Brianna

        I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have to adjust my perfectly legal actions to accommodate your inability to drive.

        If you want to drive without following any laws, why don’t you just move to India or China? You do realize how ridiculous it is to expect law baiting citizens to change their legal activities because some people can’t comprehend the rules of the road?

        I’ll bet you complain mightily when your car window gets broken for a robbery or someone steals something from your garage. You’re in Miami! Petty crime just happens here, if you want to live in a crime free neighborhood, move to Singapore!

    • PJG

      Why are you being so insensitive? Someone is in extremely critical condition! No need to be heartless!

  • ConcernedCitizen

    I am glad they have the suspect, now the fact he has a suspended license, has a history of leaving a scene of an accident, multiple possession arrest, he should be made to wear ankle bracelet that signals the authorities any time he gets into a car. I wonder if he is even legally a residient of the US. Maybe a life term in the state pen. is what he needs. I agree with the writer who stated, up north when we learned about bicycle rules was that we road against traffic, so you could see what is coming at you. Walkers and runners do the same, just because the bike has wheels, doesn’t mean it is like a motor vehicle. Praying for Aaron, that he recovers and his family is made whole. If, God forbid, Aaron does not make it, maybe the driver should be convicted and sentences to death for taking Aaron life. Old Testament “eye for an eye”.

    • Brianna

      It is incredably dangerous to cycle against traffic. It gives you LESS time to react to traffic as you are at closing speeds – a head on collision between a bike going 20mph and a car going 45 mph is much more serious than a car hitting that same cyclist from behind.

      Think of it this way – is it easier to go around a vehicle going slower than you in the same direction, or a vehicle going slower than you coming directly at you? Walkers and runners travel against traffic because thy travel much more slowly, and are also more able to jump out of the way should a vehicle come too close.

      • ConcernedCitizen

        I guess riding with traffic didn’t stop him from dying though, question? would you rather see the object coming at you and have a split second to take some type of action or be like poor Mr. Cohen who didn’t see what hit him and took him from his family/ I know the law is to ride with traffic, and being a long term emergency services provider, not seeing for me is far more scarier than being able to see what is coming at me and having my options. The real answer is for motorist to be more attentive, but slime like this person have no rights.

      • Brianna

        I still ride with traffic. A hit from behind is still more survivable. It seems like you would be able to swerve, get out of the way, but in practice it just doesn’t work. I think if this cyclist had been riding against traffic, this collision would have been instantly fatal, no hope at alll.

        I’ve had to ride against traffic maybe twice in my life, and it is much more terrifying than following the rules of the road.

  • calicojack

    That idiot was probably texting and driving like so many a….hole drivers here in miami. Very sad that another bicyclist has to lose a life.

  • Kristin

    It is horrible that Miami drivers do not respect pedestrians nor cyclists. Maybe more of you should go out and run/cycle/walk. For the most part, cars seem to respect my baby carriage – but I’ve had cars cut me off when i’m in the cross-walk with a Walk signal and pushing my giant orange baby stroller.
    I love seeing the cyclists on Rickenbacker and on Brickell – and even down here in South Miami. It saddens me greatly that they risk their lives while enjoying the outdoors and their health. It saddens me that in my neighborhood people drive 40 mph down residential streets.

    Are the pedestrians who get hit every year here- are they also to blame? Try googling “miami hit and run” – it is frightening. Is the person who was run-over by a box truck in a cross-walk also to blame?

    Thoughts and prayers with Aaron’s family. He looked like a fabulous fun person. I’m very sad.

  • David Bernardo

    As a good friend of Aaron I can tell you everything was true and not being said just because of the terrible situation. Aaron was the most generous person I met and really improved the world to so many.
    It’s a pity that a beast like this Traverso murdered such a great person. How can he hit two people on an empty road at 5:30 am? How can he run away without even checking the injured? How can he be so stupid and leave a car that damaged in a common parking and not go immediately to the police?
    I hope that justice is made.
    Aaron, you will not be forgotten and we will support your family in whatever they need.

  • ism

    to the family and friends…..May he rest in peace. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • anoid

    I am on the road at 5:30 every morning and likely passed these cyclists. The other drivers out there at this hour are usually ‘partiers’ returning home. He likely left the seen because he knew it would mean a DWI and obviously had no remorse about the injuries caused. Until laws change and offenders receive punishment worthy of the crime (death penalty, life in prison), people will continue to flick care to the wind as they murder ‘by accident’. Installation of speed bumps on Key Biscayne and Bayshore Drive would help as well. We will all get to our destinations so don’t comlain, it will make Miami safer for everyone. The fact that most cyclists killed are in the bike lane signals that lanes are not the answer. I have never heard of a cyclist killing a motorist by crashing into them….

  • C Trucker

    Listen please!!!! this is not France its Miami with some of the worse driving. If you wanna be a fake Lance Armstrong your gonna get hit. I almost hit bikers all the time. Use a park or stationary bike to get your fix. GET OFF THE ROAD!!!!

    • Noel

      I think you need to get off the road !

      • christy

        U R AN IDIOT! A LANE HAS BEEN DESIGNATED FOR BICYCLES TO SHARE THE ROAD! Get your head out your fourth point of contact and PAY ATTENTION! Bicycles and even more motorcycles are here to stay. Just like many other things that may irritate your little sensitive tushie, GET OVER IT!

    • Poor Grammer Trucker equals UnEducated Sick Person

      you are a sick person. Please do not reproduce.
      There are 2 people;

      one is obeying traffic laws, within a wide lane designated by a solid white strip – solid means it is prohibited to change or cross lanes , going up hill.

      the other person is driving illegally without a license, is on probation for prior drug use, in possession of cocaine … turns illegally into the other person’s very wide lane, kills them – and breaks another person’s leg – and leaves the scene, which was easy to do because there was very little traffic.

      Your posts are advising that the person who got hit, who is dead now – and other person’s like him – should change their behavior ?!

      Not the cocaine- possessing, hit -and -run, spineless 25 yr old.

      Because you “almost hit bikers all the time” ?
      Because “Miami has some of the worse driving”? and it isn’t them or the cocaine blowing “driver” who should change ?

      Would you really say these things in person to the public ?

      Sorry about your parents and society failing you.

    • Kay

      OMG Please you should be the one getting hit by an 18 wheeler!!!!!!!!!! You’re a jerk!!! How can you live with yourself. You’re a waste of skin. Go back to the field you grew up in having sex with your sister!!! You ignorant POS

    • christy

      Again trucker…..YOU ARE A JERK! U NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE DOING! Stop eating and driving, texting, whatever. If the riding lane for a bicycle is provided, give them the respect they deserve. So what if they choose to ride. I ride my motorcycle every chance i get and am terrified of the uneducated and should not even be licensed drivers in the Miami area. They don’t signal, slide from lane to lane, or make an obsenely wide left or right when turning a corner! GIMME A BREAK! EDUCATE THE DRIVERS!

    • David Bernardo

      C Trucker – I hope it doesn’t happen to someone close to you, in your family. Than you can say the same thing when they get hit. Your level of Humanity is ridiculous. Think before you speak.
      Aaron was an amazing person!

      • laura

        i hope he does get hit!

    • David Bernardo

      And if you are going to hit something… hit a wall not bikers. Or just save yourself the trouble and use poison or bullet in your head. WIth such thoughts and comments I’m sure it’s not a great loss.

  • Jayne K

    Deepest condolences to the Cohen family,

  • D. H

    probably a Latin American driver….ever see how they drive and disobey the rules…blantant disregard…they act like they’re driving in their third world country they came from…send them all back where they came from..

  • SXM

    Aaron was a great man. Always a smile on his face. I am so sorry for his family and friends. May you rest in peace Aaron.

  • Chance

    We went to the memorial run last night in Aaron’s honor and we did the speed limit going out there – 45 mph – the other cars were flying by at 60 mph plus. Incredible…

    Key Biscayne is one of the main areas where triathletes in Miami train. This is not the first time something like this has happened. How many have to get injured or killed before the local government does something to ensure the safety of everyone?

    • Luvs Me My Car

      What exactly would that be?

      • anoid

        Speed bumps in between the traffic lights at strategic locations (Key Biscayne and along Bayshore Drive)–an extra minutes wait is worth one life saved
        Widen bicycle lane–cyclists own cars and pay taxes too. Implement eminent domain
        Reflectors along bicycle lane
        Prevent those with suspended licenses from driving (last two accidents caused by those with suspended licenses)-if found driving, mandatory arrest, jail time, public service, education, spanking in public, castration
        Tougher punishment-if you kill, leave the scene/under influence= life in prison in solitary confinement

  • E. Jay Abt

    Aaron was my neighbor growing up in Northbrook, IL. He was one of the kindest, hardest working, and smartest people you could ever hope to meet. He was an outstanding human being and I am sad that he is gone. E. Jay Abt.

  • hagen

    during my last 6years in miami i saw so many riders got killed on KB.
    its a horrible thing that even with so wide bike lanes there got hit so many riders. its just a thing of uneducated people (mostly from latin countries) who dont understand how to drive foresightfull. but even the native american have still to learn that there are other people on the road without a massive car. this is why still those small and light european city cars not accepted, because big means safety and or showing what i have.

  • shot blocker

    How about not giving a driver’s license to everyone that gets of a bannana or any other boat from a south american country. I would not drive a car in Miami if I did not have to let alone a bike.

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