Winter Park bicyclist dies after collision with SUV

A Winter Park man died Saturday evening while bicycling along Dodd Road in Seminole County. Full Story
Johnny

Cleveland, TN

#93 Sep 16, 2008
These bike riders get on my nerves. I was coming down the mountain, and a bike rider was waving me to stop, saying, there's lots of riders going down the mountain. I asked, "are the police stopping traffic for this?". He said "no". I told him I hope they are following traffic laws, because I'm sure as hell not going to wait while 50 bike hippies ride off of Lookout Mountain. I passed them all, safely, but I was yelled at, and given a few gestures as I passed. I waited at the bottom, and when they got down they stopped. I asked why must they act like this in front of my children? I was told I was an a-hole and other things because I passed them down the mountain. I then proceeded to run over about 10 mountain bikes that were parked at the foot of the mountain in my 4-runner.
I hope they enjoyed the rest of their ride, or I guess, walk.
Jazzhands

United States

#94 Sep 16, 2008
jay from north carolina wrote:
<quoted text>Im so sorry I just dont feel like getting rear ended waiting for my opportunitie to go around.people walking down the road cause a hazzard too, not just on cycles.
Hazzard? Hazzard?

PEOPLE LIKE YOU behind the wheel, now THAT is a HAZZARD.

Seriously, learn to drive.
Jorge Mikan

Cocoa Beach, FL

#95 Sep 16, 2008
If you go to the Local 6 website you'll read that he was on the bike lane. Besides that, talking in those terms about a person that died in these circumstances shows the kind of a person that you are. I knew Tony and he was a genuinly good person, a good soul and a devoted father; he rode his bike everywhere and those of us that knew him, played soccer with him and shared with him know who he was. "As far as I'm concerned..." shows that you shouldn't be driving and that you don't belong in a society.
Too bad wrote:
Too bad. Maybe he should have been biking on a trail and not on the road. I don't understand why these bicyclists need to be on the road when there are hundreds of miles of bike trails in Central Florida.
As far as I'm concerned, most of these guys are pompous aholes that are in the way of traffic anyway.
Johnny

Cleveland, TN

#96 Sep 16, 2008
If bike riders are going to ride their bikes on public roads, they should be required to carry liability insurance, if they break traffic laws and a car hits them, who is going to fix our autos? If a bike rider hits my car and knocks the mirror off or something else, I will have to pay for it.
Well wisherAutumn Glenn

Lakeland, FL

#97 Sep 16, 2008
Autumn Glenn wrote:
I used to be this guys neighbor.. He used to ride his bike absolutely everywhere. I'd see him all the time with his son. I actually went to elementary middle and high school with his son.. This is just horrible.. Literally he had probably been bicycling for 30 years.. People need to be more careful when theyre driving.. Don't blame him or say he was a death wisher.. He was a very nice guy.. Just exercising doing something he loved..
I lived down the stree from him as well, we now live across from his subdivision,, and I was coming down Dodd Rd and saw the police and ambulance.. The road was blocked off. He was a real nice man lived with his son, always riding his bike and always said "hello", liked to excersise I remember he also had a real nice Harley.. My condolences to his son.
Stevie_Stefan

Kissimmee, FL

#98 Sep 16, 2008
I wish to express my condolences to the Graziano family, all of his friends, as well as those nearest to the SUV driver. It is difficult to deal with this on a personal level as we have known Tony for just over six years having had the distinct pleasure to be his teammate AND friend during that span. I can’t imagine how the driver of the SUV feels, and I only hope that she can somehow find a way to deal with what must be an agonizing pain.

We realize that freedom of speech allows some people the right to voice their opinions, but what we can’t realize is why some people can’t use better judgment when passing along their judgments based on what they consider to be facts. Honestly, how can anyone from the east coast of Florida, let alone from another state, possibly give their opinion on the circumstances leading up to the accident? Notice, I am someone who IS a friend of Tony’s and I said “accident” and have yet to tell you what I have personally noticed at the scene.

Fact: Tony stands just over six feet tall, and while I realize that he was bicycling I have to admit that it would be difficult to not notice someone of that size approaching regardless of the side of the road on which he was riding.

Fact: The approximate time of the accident was 6:45 in the evening on a Saturday. It doesn’t start getting dark here during this time of year until 8:00 in the evening. Again, I can’t see how it would be difficult not to see Tony. However, while I have my doubts, I can’t speak for the person driving the SUV.

Fact: The portion of road where the accident occurred is four lanes divided by an extra center lane AND with bicycle lanes. If bicycles were not able to ride on the road, why on Earth would the “powers-that-be” take the time to allocate that part of the road for bicyclists? I would hope that anyone riding in these lanes ride in the proper direction.

Fact: The speed limit on this stretch of road is 40 miles per hour. There is a skid mark at the scene as well as indications of where the accident ended. I drove this stretch of road today at the prescribed speed limit and was able to stop in a distance comparable to that of the skid marks without leaving any marks. For those of you still not convinced, I can go and measure the marks.

Fact: Tony lived in the subdivision directly adjacent to the location where he was struck.

Fact: I have seen Tony ride his bicycle on nearby Tuscawilla Road and he was on the correct side of the street. I can’t, however, say if he was on the correct side at the time of the accident.

Fact: The only witness to the scene to this date is the driver of the SUV.

I offer these facts as I have seen them, and no intention was made to point the blame in any direction. If this message is deemed to be a ploy to sway anyone in believing one way or the other I offer my sincerest apologies. Like many of the people who were touched by this tragedy, I still have questions and opinions, but will most likely have to wait until we meet again to know the truth.

I only hope that those people intent on arguing over trivial aspects of the accident can somehow see that they are far off base from what is truly important. It could be that we never know the complete truth of this tragic event and for those of us close to Tony that is something that we must realize. The road to healing is long, but we must find solace in knowing that he was a great influence on many people.
Stevie_Stefan

Kissimmee, FL

#99 Sep 16, 2008
With all of that said I would like to leave with the following:

It was our distinct honor to be blessed with knowing Tony. We will forever miss his friendly smile and banter. His handshake was always inviting and heartfelt. My heart will be heavy knowing that Tony will not be on the sideline or even on the field for this season and beyond. I will miss him calling every week letting me know the time and location for the next match. This world has lost someone that we should all strive to emulate. May his spirit live in those of us fortunate enough to have him in our lives. We miss you, Tony, and can only hope that someday we can meet again and kick the ball around!
john express -6

Merritt Island, FL

#100 Sep 16, 2008
I had the honor of knowing Tony for 10 + years. He was the kind of person we can only imagine becoming.He was a caring father, skilled soccer player, compassionate coach, successful businessman, christain, and the kind of friend that would always be there for you. I know that only God knows why He took Tony home so early but, I know that one day I will be able to tell him face to face what a positive influence he had on my life. I pray for God's comfort to the many,many lives Tony touched and to honor Tony by keeping his positive spirit alive in us. I also pray for the driver of the SUV as she must be undergoing severe grief herself. I will miss you Tony and consider myself very blessed to have known you!!!
Anon

Winter Park, FL

#101 Sep 16, 2008
Boston Born wrote:
<quoted text>
That's sort of akin to a pilot who decides to land his plane with wheels up. After the plane slides down the runway, a gash is torn in a wing tank and the fuel ignites destroying the plane. Is the fire accidental? NO.........It's a result of a stupid decision! NOT AN ACCIDENT. I suppose you blame the rain for some crashes too. You must be a friggin' flannel shirted liberal.
First off its none of your buisness of who's the party of my choice and second what you states is your opinion. I stand by mind regardless, and for that pathetic comment on how I blame the rain for some crashes, actually no, I blame the idiot who didn't slow down, keep his distance from the vehichle and/ or put his or her headlights on, that is who I blame. So go tell your little lamea_ss excuse of a statement to someone who cares because it doesn't change the way I see it. You fool.
jay from north carolina

Clemmons, NC

#102 Sep 16, 2008
Jazzhands wrote:
<quoted text>
Hazzard? Hazzard?
PEOPLE LIKE YOU behind the wheel, now THAT is a HAZZARD.
Seriously, learn to drive.
No you stay off the road.
Heywood Jablome

United States

#103 Sep 16, 2008
Razz wrote:
<quoted text>
Thanks for taking the time to contribute, your opinion really matters. Have a wonderful evening!!
In other words, no. Have a great evening yourself.
poor taxpayer

Kissimmee, FL

#104 Sep 16, 2008
Can't we all just get along?

Car/SUV drivers: You stay off your cell phones. No texting while driving.

Bikers: You stay off the roads. You can't compete. Also you look ridiculous and gay in those spandex things.
Spare Change

Orlando, FL

#105 Sep 16, 2008
Heywood Jablome wrote:
<quoted text>
In other words, no. Have a great evening yourself.
Slow nite at the Altamonte mall?
Kathryn and Mike

Orlando, FL

#106 Sep 17, 2008
redgator wrote:
<quoted text>
how are you his neighbors if you live in Ocala? He's from Winter Park, no where near you. But i agree with the rest of your sentiment.
It really is not significant, but I can not help what city this website says I are in. Just shows how easy it is for inaccurate info to be generated. What is important is the loss of a very nice person. It is disappointing to see how antagonistic so many people can be over something you would think we all could relate to as fellow humans.
Zap Brannigan

Orlando, FL

#107 Sep 17, 2008
It's great that Lance Armstrong has popularized the sport of cycling for middle aged men. It's a better workout for middle aged men than softball, bowling, or golf. However, even if the FDOT laws allow cyclists to share the road, it does not overrule the laws of physics. Too many roads across Orlando are unsafe for cyclists. Even the few roads that have designated bike lanes are still unsafe. I'll stick to cycling on the sidewalks and trails.

Sheri

Orlando, FL

#108 Sep 19, 2008
You're an insensitive idiot and your comment illustrates your lack of intelligence.
Sad

Orlando, FL

#109 Sep 19, 2008
Sheri wrote:
You're an insensitive idiot and your comment illustrates your lack of intelligence.
This is in response to anyone criticizing the bicyclist.
He was a very rare person

Clinton, MS

#110 Oct 15, 2008
Tony was a real smart careful person. He had a lot of responsibilities and was more on the ball than 99% of the people out there, so I just can't see personally how something like this could happen.
Unless it was a total accident.
I'm sure he was just out there for exercise and would not take chances.
This one baffles me for sure, and I knew him for a long time too.
Doesn't the driver just know what happened, isn't it just that simple, or was it so traumatic she went into shock or something and can't remember.
All I can say it must feel horrible, and I don't think anybody want to do this on purpose, so I am sure it hurts.
He was just a wonderful wonderful guy, like the other commenter said, he had what the rest of idiolize for.
Aldo
anon

Kissimmee, FL

#111 Nov 18, 2008
I know I'm a little late on this, but need to make a point.
You guys are failing to realize, she swerved several feet out of her lane (on a straight-away) and hit Tony. Does it really matter if he was coming at her or going away from her when she's travelling at 40+ mph? Getting hit by a SUV on a bike is going to kill you, regardless of which way you're heading. If anything I'd like to see whats about to happen rather than get fucked up and not know what happened
I was close to Tony's son, Anthony for most of middle/high school. I was always around Tony and he was an amazing dad and a really nice person. To hear you jackasses judge something about someone you know nothing about is amazing. You guys really are awesome. I'm going to assume something about you all, you don't even own a bike because you're too fat. Maybe when you're walking out of mcdonalds someone will swerve and kill you. How unfortunate would that be?
Also, unlike most of you, I've seen the tread marks. She most likely went up into the grass. I dont care who you are, if you can't pay that much attention you dont deserve to be driving. Almost throughout the entire bend of the road you can see the rest of the straightaway, she could have easily seen Tony. When she got to the straights, she then veered off. What was so important that she looked away for 5-10 seconds? I'm going to take a reasonable judgement and assume she wasn't checking her mirrors.
Ruth North Carolina

Sanford, NC

#112 Dec 9, 2008
I have to agree with the bicylist needing a license insurance and tag. number one it is a shame this fellow died when maybe it could have been prevented if our fellow bicylist would complete a written exam in order to operate this vehicle on public streets just as anyone else would have to do to operate a vehicle on a public street, a tag needs to be present in case a bicylist is not following rules we can call it in to police just as we would for any other fellow vehiclist we see driving dangerously and they do need to have insurance in case of accidents. I disagree with having them removed from our public highways but bicyclist need to have more responsibility just as any other vehicle on the highways. And if a park is just a few miles down the road that would insure a safer place why not put the bike in your vehicle drive the few miles and have fun in an environment designed for this type of recreation.

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