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Cyclist killed in accident causes concerns among residents

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 11:50 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A cyclist was hit and killed by a driver on Saturday near the 5700 block on Southwest 20th Avenue. Two people who live in a community along the road avenue believe there needs to be more lights for pedestrians and cyclists.

“It is definitely concerning,” said Alana Pauline.

“People want to know that they are safe when they are walking around,” explained Darien Pauline.

According to the Pauline’s the many residential complex’s which college students occupy are surrounded by darkness.

“It obviously gets dark, and you get worried about people seeing you. The lights can take a long time to change. You get impatient; other people get impatient,” said Darien Pauline.

Since the beginning of December 2020, at least four pedestrians or bicyclists have been killed, and four others were hurt in hit and run incidents in the Gainesville area.

“Unfortunately, this was another instance of a hit and run case here in the city of Gainesville,” said Gainesville Police Department Spokesperson Graham Glover.

RELATED STORY: Arrest made in Gainesville hit-and-run death

38-year-old Adam Pearce was driving in the area of SW 20th Ave around 12:45 Saturday morning. That is when he hit and killed an unidentified cyclist. Instead of stopping, he left the scene, according to Glover.

“The most egregious thing that happened Saturday night was the individual that fled the scene. We don’t know what could have happened if this individual would have stayed. When you are involved in a traffic accident, if it is you and another car, you and a pedestrian, you and a bicycle, you are legally obligated to stop. The fact that this individual fled the scene is highly problematic.”

A piece of the car came off during the accident and on it was a serial number. Glover explained that evidence along with an “Automated License Plate Recognition” search lead officers to their suspect.

“Our officer then knocked on the door, and then he was read his rights. He admitted that he was, in fact driving in the area and he was, in fact, involved in that accident.”

Meanwhile, the Pauline’s believe pedestrian and cyclist safety should be a primary focus.

“They are high foot traffic areas. The safety of the walker should be prioritized and taken into consideration,” said Darien Pauline.

Glover explains while law enforcement and government agencies implement programs to help decrease the numbers, both drivers and pedestrians play an essential role in avoiding these tragic incidents.

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