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Memorial Held For Cyclist Killed On Rickenbacker Causeway

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Michele Traverso (Source: Miami-Dade Corrections)

Michele Traverso (Source: Miami-Dade Corrections)

maggieheadshot Maggie Newland
Maggie Newland is a reporter at CBS4. She arrived at the station ...
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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.

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