Eight Months After Ferrari Hit-and-Run, Driver Has Not Been Charged
"As a society, what the judge said with that sentencing is that it's OK to kill somebody and leave as long as they're on a bicycle," says Mickey Witte, a local bike activist who was in the courtroom for the shocking outcome.
Witte and other concerned bikers began to collaborate on new legislation that would sew up the loophole. But they faced trouble in Tallahassee. "Originally, we wanted to have a seven-year mandatory minimum sentence," says Eli Stiers, a Miami trial attorney who helped craft the legislation. "There was a lot of opposition to that."
Eventually termed the Aaron Cohen Protection Act, the bill settled for a four-year minimum. It includes harsher punishments when the victims are "vulnerable road users" such as cyclists and pedestrians. The bill has been passed by the House and Senate. It awaits Gov. Rick Scott's signature.
For Miguel Larrieu and Jorge Arrojas, the law is too little, too late. The pair came from prominent Cuban families that immigrated in the early 1960s. They met as 20-somethings and moved in together shortly thereafter, eventually building a house in Southwest Ranches. Arrojas, a retired postal worker, paid all the bills from the pair's joint bank account and cared for four Paso Fino horses on the two-acre property.
"He was my best friend and my lifelong companion," Larrieu says. "And this man ended all of that in less than 30 seconds."
The crash tore a hole through Larrieu's life. He's left trying to learn to pay the bills by himself as well as to check in daily on Arrojas' 88-year-old mother. And he waits for news on the investigation. And waits.
"I pray every day that justice will prevail," Larrieu says. "This person didn't even call an ambulance. He didn't even come to see how we were doing."