Fred Medina Miami bicyclist trying to beat rising drawbridge only to plunge to his death. Avid seasoned cyclist miscalculates and dies in freak accident.
A Floridabicyclist has been killed trying to cross a rising Miami drawbridge.Fred Medina, 58, plunged to his death on Wednesday morning trying to beat the South Miami Avenue Bridge as it ascended.
The freak accident unfolded around 6 am Wednesday, while Medina, a married father of two, was out cycling with a friend, Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Fallat told the Miami Herald.
The barriers started coming down on the bridge and the alarm sounded but Medina made his way onto the bridge anyway, with the avid experienced cyclist, presumably believing he could make it over in time.
Medina’s friend who was cycling with him, managed to cross the bridge ahead of him when tragedy struck, Stephen Tannenbaum toldWSVN.
Medina was left clinging on to the bridge as it rose into the air.
Did cyclist realize he had gone too far or did he think he could just beat it?
‘Our friend Steve, the other guy who was there, turned back and waited, and he looked up, and Fred was on the bridge on the draw bridge section as it was going up,’ said Tannenbaum.
Tannenbaum said Steve was shouting for the bridge operator to stop the structure rising but that must not have been able to hear him.
‘I don’t know if [Medina] realized he had gone too far, and I guess the bridge tender didn’t hear my friend yelling as he was up in the air,’ he said.
Medina was unable to hold on, losing his grip and sliding 30 ft below along the concrete slab to his death between the rising bridge and the road below.
‘He slid down the bridge and fell in between the section of the bridge that moves and the fixed part of the roadway,’ said Tannenbaum.
Police arrived on the scene to find Medina unresponsive on the platform of the bridge.
The bridge which connects downtown Miami and Brickell, was closed up to three hours as motorists, pedestrians and cyclists were rerouted as investigators descended.
Addressing cyclist safety
The Downtown Development Authority has been recently working with the Florida Department of Transportation to install gates on the bridge that would block people from going under the arms of the barriers.
Miami Commissioner Ken Russell said the tragedy serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing cycling safety in the city.
‘To me, this is about cycling safety and making sure the city, county and state have the right infrastructure to make cycling safe for everyone in the city,’ he said.
Medina was a seasoned cyclist who would often wake up at 4:45 am to ride his bike and would post his rides on social media, the Herald reported.
Last year, he logged 22,008 miles (35,418 kilometers), according to his Strava fitness tracker app.
As a cyclist, Medina was used to getting injured but a single mistake cost his life on this occasion, Tannenbaum said.
‘We’re used to getting hurt every once and a while, you fall sometimes or big crashes, but this is not something anyone could imagine would happen,’ he said.
Medina was an entertainment and technology executive who mostly worked in Latin American media.
He was a principal of Redline Advisors, a media marketing consulting firm, and before that he was managing director for Latin America for BBC.
He also previously held executive roles at Ole Communications, A+E Networks Latin America, and HBO Latin America, according to his LinkedIn profile.
‘Fred had an impressive track record in the world of television and media,’ Enrique R. Martinez, chairman of the Latin American Council for Media Advertising, said in a statement.