Sunday, March 8, 2015

Paths of peril: Pedro Rodriguez

News-Press Sunday 3/8/15 Bike Safety Feature: Paths of peril

Janine Zeitlin, Melanie Payne and Laura Ruane,,

Each Southwest Florida bike death is a different, heartbreaking story...this is Pedro Rodriguez's story.

Pedro Gutierrez Rodriguez, 27

Crash date: Oct. 15, 2014

Pedro Gutierrez Rodriguez left his Naples home for work sometime before sunrise. It was rainy that morning, so he pulled on a rain suit and tightened his hood to try to stay dry.

On the other end of Collier County, Gerry Roman Gonzalez left his Immokalee home around 4 a.m. He picked up a recycling truck in Fort Myers and headed to his route in Naples.

Gutierrez was riding his bike on the sidewalk around 6:45 a.m. near the entrance of the Ace Hardware plaza on Rattlesnake-Hammock Road near U.S. 41 in East Naples. The parking lot was dark.

Roman said he did not see the bicyclist. Gutierrez died on the scene. Florida Highway Patrol identified him by his Mexican Consular ID card. The trooper found the driver was too far into his turn to make it possible to yield.

"Pedro Gutierrez contributed to the cause of his own death," the report read.

Gutierrez didn't appear in a search of public records, but his death was mourned. A Naples Daily News report described the scene. A woman collapsed when she saw his body covered by a tarp. A photo showed three men, one in tears, hugging.

Column: Facts and fears for Southwest Florida cyclists

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