FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The father of a man whose SUV struck and killed a bicyclist Sunday night says that bicyclist veered in front of his vehicle and he also says his son was not impaired.
The accident happened at 8:38 p.m. around 51st Street on North Federal Highway and claimed the life of 52-year-old Daniel Mocker.
Christopher Goldman of Pompano Beach told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he disputes some of the facts of the police investigation which indicates the bicyclist was traveling in the designated bicycle lane and which indicates his son was “under the influence of an unknown substance.”
“He didn’t flee. He just pulled over. He was just in shock. He pulled over the first chance he could to call his parents and he tried to call police,” Goldman told D’Oench. “He’s a great kid, a family kid. He’s traumatized by this.”
Goldman said that the bicyclist actually cut in front of his son.
“My son said he couldn’t believe this had happened. He is sick to his stomach. He feels awful about what happened. This was tragic and very sad for the whole family.”
Mocker had been riding bicycles for a long time and lived alone in a home at Northeast 22nd Terrace and Northeast 54th Street near the scene of the accident.
His next-door neighbor who identified himself only as “Guy” said Mocker was a “sweet hearted guy, a really nice guy.”
“This is sad, really said,” said “Guy.” He said, “He’s been riding bikes for 20 years, maybe longer. I heard the sirens from the accident. It saddens me. He was very much of a sweet hearted guy.”
Fort Lauderdale Police Detective and spokesman DeAnna Greenlaw said investigators believe the victim was traveling in the designated bicycle lane but “that will be determined by the investigation.”
“I have asked my son about that a number of times and he insists the bike veered right in front of him,” said Goldman.
Greenlaw said the preliminary investigation had revealed that a 2007 GMC SUV was traveling northbound on North Federal Highway, while the bicyclist was riding northbound in the designated bicycle lane.
She said the front of the vehicle struck the rear of the bicycle.
Greenlaw said the rider was thrown on to the hood of the vehicle and the driver continued traveling northbound about four blocks and Mocker fell off of the hood and on to the roadway.
She said a witness followed the driver and called 9-1-1 to report the incident and the location of the driver.
“The driver should have stopped the moment he struck the bicyclist,” said Greenlaw. “That did not happen. The driver continued to go northbound.”
Greenlaw also said police had initiated a DUI investigation.
“I am being told by our traffic homicide investigators that the driver did show signs of being under the influence of an unknown substance,” she said.
Goldman countered, “They always seem to come up with something like that. They didn’t do a sobriety test on him. He just appeared to be shaken up to me. He has friends who have had DUIs. He knows not to drink and drive. He doesn’t do that.”
Goldman said his son had come from a friend’s house and was on his way to dinner. He said his son has three different jobs and was at work on Monday. He works as an electrical assistant at one of his jobs.
Greenlaw said Justin Goldman was given a blood alcohol test.
She said charges are pending “further investigation and toxicology results.”
Anyone with information about this crash is urged to call Traffic Homicide Investigator Jonathan Graham at (954) 828-5125.