Bicyclist critically injured in collision with garbage truck in Madeira Beach

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Deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office are currently investigating a crash that left a bicyclist critically injured in Madeira Beach.

The crash occurred at 129th Avenue West and Gulf Boulevard on the north side of the John’s Pass bridge at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 23, 2020.

According to investigators, a 38 year-old driver was crossing northeast on Gulf Boulevard to get to 129th Avenue West in a City of Madeira Beach garbage truck.

Deputies say 44 year-old Julie Henning of Alexandria, Virginia, was riding her bicycle in the designated bike lane northbound over John’s Pass Bridge on Gulf Boulevard, approaching 129th Avenue West.

According to a witness and the garbage truck passenger, Henning was unable to stop at the base of the hill after crossing the bridge.  Henning struck the passenger side of the garbage truck that entered her path of travel. She was ejected from the bicycle.  Investigators say that Henning was wearing a helmet.

Henning was transported to the trauma center Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with critical injuries.

The driver of the garbage truck, 38 year-old John Leppert, was cited for failure to yield to a bicyclist in a bicycle lane and failure to yield while approaching/entering the intersection.

Impairment and speed do not appear to be a factor in the crash, according to investigators.

The investigation continues.

2 COMMENTS

  1. “Right of way” doesn’t change the laws of physics. And a cyclist will inevitably suffer more damage should an accident happen, so common sense indicates they need to be more vigilant. As a motorcyclist, I have to be constantly on the look out, because even if I have the right of way, it is I who will get hurt if there is an accident, not the car driver. I have seen so many cyclists in Pinellas ride with utter disregard to what is happening on the road, which is a stupid practice whether you are on a bike or in a car but especially more on a bike. However, from the article, it sounded like this accident was because of brake failure and not because of disregard for safety and I hope she will recover from her injuries.

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