Driver In Rickenbacker Fatal Hit & Run To Remain In Jail
South Florida Crime
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The man jailed for hitting and killing a bicyclist on the Rickenbacker Causeway made an appearance in court Friday related to a previous drug charge.
Michele Traverso, 25, voluntarily submitted to a drug test, which he passed.
Despite testing negative for drugs, the judge booted Traverso out of the court-ordered drug program and ordered him held without bond for 21 days until his arraignment because he violated his probation on the previous drug charge.
Traverso was charged Thursday with leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury, and driving with a suspended license. Additional charges are pending and could include leaving the scene of a fatal accident and possibly vehicular manslaughter.
Traverso’s attorney, Ramon de la Cabada, said his client is remorseful for fleeing the scene of the fatal accident.
“I can’t begin to express how horrible my client and his family feels over this,” said de la Cabada.
When asked, however, where his client was prior to the accident and whether he had been drinking, the attorney refused to answer.
Traverso turned himself in to police late Wednesday night, nearly 18 hours after the hit and run.
Police said he was driving on the Rickenbacker Causeway early Wednesday morning when he hit Aaron Cohen and Enda Walsh. Cohen and Walsh were both hospitalized. Cohen was taken off life support Thursday and died. Walsh suffered a broken leg.
Using debris from the accident scene, investigators were able to determine the make of the car and found it parked in a Key Biscayne condo parking lot covered with a tarp. Sources tell CBS4 Traverso may have turned himself in after seeing police inspect his car, which he can see from the window of his condo unit.
Miami traffic homicide Detective Lorraine Rubio, the lead investigator on the case, said it was a wonder Traverso could drive away from the scene, drunk or sober.
“He should not have been able to see outside that windshield, absolutely,” Rubio said. Video of the car shows the windshield shattered and rendered virtually opaque.
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.
Thursday night, a memorial was held on the Rickenbacker Causeway for Aaron Cohen.
“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.”
Stephen Cohen said his son was a 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.”
A funeral service will be held for Cohen on Sunday. The location and time is still being worked out.