August 25, 2008 in Nation/World

Cab with sleepy driver hits cyclists, injuring 11

By Luisa Yanez and Jennifer Lebovich McClatchy
 

MIAMI – A cab driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel Sunday morning before plowing into a group of bicyclists out for a leisurely morning ride on the MacArthur Causeway, injuring 11, police said.

The 8 a.m. accident left many of the riders sprawled on the pavement in the eastbound lane and sent six to the hospital.

The most seriously injured was a 48-year-old man who was taken into surgery and listed in critical condition; five others were in stable condition.

Five additional riders suffered severe road burn when thrown to the pavement and were treated at the scene.

After the accident, two bicycles were still attached to the cab, one crushed underneath it, the other by its front passenger door. The cab’s windshield was shattered.

Police identified the driver as Herbert Morais, 52, with Checker Cab company.

“He’s openly admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel of the car,” said Detective Juan Sanchez, a Miami Beach police department spokesman. “At this point he hasn’t been charged with anything. The investigation is still ongoing.”

Michael S. Kaufman, an attorney for the cab company, said the company was still trying to reach the driver.

“Our thoughts are obviously with those who are injured,” Kaufman said. “We all wish them a fast recovery. We’re still looking into the events. … We need to reach him to get a definitive answer of what’s going on.”


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