Michele Traverso was arrested in Miami, Florida on Wednesday night for allegedly killing Aaron Cohen in a hit-and-run that took place Wednesday morning. Traverso, 25, turned himself in at the Miami-Dade County Jail. He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident causing serious bodily injury and driving with a suspended license, according to reports.
Traverso had a bail bond hearing this afternoon where the judge ordered that he be held overnight due to a separate marijuana possession charge. The driving with a suspended license charge was suspended, but Traverso was held on $10,000 bond on the leaving the scene of an accident charge. He remains in custody in Miami.
The car accident in question took place at around 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning near the William Powell Bridge in Miami. According to reports, Aaron Cohen and Enda Walsh, cyclist friends, were cycling towards Key Biscayne on an early-morning bike when Traverso allegedly hit them with his Honda Civic. Authorities are not sure if the incident was a DUI.
"We didn't even see anything. Then there was a loud bang and the next thing you know, I was on the ground and Aaron was 30 feet up the road lying on his back on the road not moving," said Walsh of the impact.
The two bicyclists were rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment. Welsh was treated for a fractured ankle but as since been released. Cohen, who suffered serious head injuries, was in critical condition and experience brain swelling and trauma. Doctors removed his spleen and attempted to stop the swelling, but Cohen ended up dying of his injuries on Thursday.
Aaron Cohen was 36 years old. He was an avid Ironman, marathon and cycling competitor. He is survived by his wife Patti Cohen and the couple's two small children, 1-year-old Aiden and 3-year-old Lilly.
Cohen's father told reporters before Cohen's death that he was a great person. "He is the most precious thing in the world to his mother and it is with total disbelief that something like this would happen to someone who is so good, so honest and such a loving father. I can't express what tremendous concern and hurt this is to me and all the members of our family."
Traverso turned himself in for the hit-and-run after authorities found his black Honda civic in a condominium complex parking lot located at 600 Grapetree Drive. The car showed serious damage on the windshield and hood. Officials have not confirmed that the vehicle was involved in the accident. Before Traverso turned himself in, officials were asking for tips from the public.
Rickenback Causeway, where the two bikers were hit, is a popular but dangerous stretch for biking aficionados. Carlos Bertonatti, a pop singer, struck and killed a bicyclist in 2011 in the same area. The crash was determined to be a DUI. Some believe that precautions such as a buffer zone and painted bike lanes could improve cyclist safety in the area.