NewsPinellas County


Bicyclist recovers after video shows car plowing into him

The crash happened on March 7 in St. Petersburg
Posted at 9:42 PM, Mar 29, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A bicyclist is recovering after being hit by a car nearly 3 weeks ago in St. Petersburg.

The crash happened on March 7 around 2:45 p.m. at the intersection of 26th Avenue South and 45th Street in St. Petersburg.

Video shows St. Petersburg hit-and-run that left cyclist seriously injured

John Bentley said he was finishing a 30 mile bike ride and was headed home. He crossed the intersection and a car plowed into him.

Video shows St. Petersburg hit-and-run that left cyclist seriously injured

"Just to the left was a cement kind of curb thing and the pavement. I could have landed there, but I didn’t. I landed in the grass. I was really lucky and landing on my back, not flat on my back, it saved me some real serious injuries, I think," said Bentley.

Bentley said he crossed the intersection after the driver appeared to be stopped.

"The car pulled up and hesitated and it was clear he was going to turn left, but it appeared to me he was stopping so I just headed across the intersection," he said.

Bentley went to the emergency room after suffering from 2 broken ribs. He remained conscious after being thrown off his bike. He said he was wearing a helmet.

"6 to 8 weeks for recovery, maybe longer for a full recovery. It heals very slowly," he said.

Witnesses said they saw the crash and ran over to help. One witness tried following the driver for several blocks. Police said they need the public's help identifying the hit-and-run driver. Officers believe the driver may have been driving a Black Mazda CX-7.

"I had a light flashing and even here in the daylight that's a bright light so to my mind he had to be distracted to not notice me," said Bentley.

Bentley said he loves to bike ride. It's something he has done for more than 35 years.

"I have a lot of things to live for and it might not be worth it to ride on the road again, maybe I'll do just trails. I don't know. We'll see. I'm still trying to figure that out," said Bentley

If you know the driver involved in this hit-and-run, call police at 727-893-7780 or text SPPD plus your tip to TIP411.

The hit-and-run was caught on a neighbor's security camera.

"The video itself is just like incomprehensible to see the person just not even hesitate just drive away," said John Bentley.