ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — After much debate on social media, the St. Petersburg Police Department has clarified who was at fault in the highly-debated vehicle vs. bicycle crash at a crosswalk Nov. 1.
Steven Weldon was riding his bicycle down the Pinellas Trail on his way to work when he approached the crosswalk at 49th street. Surveillance video shows him ride through the crosswalk and get hit by what police believe is a white Chrysler 200.
In their investigation of the incident, the police department reached out to local media outlets to help track down the driver of the white car that hit the bicyclist. Amid the story going public, a mixture of outrage and debate was sparked on social media.
The debate was centered around who was actually at fault in the crash. Many were saying the bicyclist should have stopped at the stop sign, or used more caution when crossing.
The police department also released the following statement on the incident:
Although the bicyclist could’ve exercised more caution and stopped, he had the right of way and won’t face any charges. It is the law that drivers stop if there is anyone in a crosswalk. The driver who hit him was obligated to stay at the scene until police arrived.St. Petersburg Police Dep.
“If someone is in a crosswalk you have to stop,” Sandra Bentil with the St. Pete Police Department said. “It was determined that he had the right of way. He was in the crosswalk. The lights were on so he will not be facing charges in this crash.”
After outcries on social media from people saying the cyclist was in the wrong, police have released the unseen moments before the crash. Even though Weldon appears to blow past this stop sign, rewinding the tape shows two other cyclists stop and push the crossing button activating the lights to alert drivers they were crossing.
The police department is still searching for the driver of the white car and asking anyone with information to call 727-893-7780.