The horrific death of a 44-year-old resident of South Miami has enraged
cyclists across South Florida, igniting a debate over street safety in
a region historically dominated by devil-may-care drivers.
On January 17, Christophe Le Canne was out for a Sunday
morning ride on the Rickenbacker Causeway, which connects the city of
Miami with Virginia Key and Key Biscayne, when he was hit from behind
and knocked from his bike by Carlos Bertonatti, a 28-year-old aspiring
musician with a long history of traffic offenses. Bertonatti drove for miles with Le Canne’s blue Cannondale wedged beneath his Volkswagen Jetta.
Le Canne died before paramedics arrived on the scene.
Bertonatti was arrested outside his Key Biscayne apartment after a police officer observed him
dragging Le Canne’s bike. He was charged with DUI manslaughter,
vehicular homicide, resisting arrest, driving without a license and
leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
This could have been
written off as an isolated incident — another drunk driver with a
checkered driving record takes another life. But for several possible
reasons, that didn’t happen. Consider the arrogance of the killer.
Bertonatti’s website, according to the Miami Herald, "had boasted of his poor driving record." Police had to strap him to a fire department backer board in order to extract a blood sample. After the crash, Bertonatti issued regrets through his publicist. He is currently out on bail.