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Police ID bicyclist hit, killed by SUV in Sandalwood

Pine Bluff residents have been concerned about speeding cars for years

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman hospitalized after she was struck by an SUV while riding a bicycle Wednesday afternoon in the Pine Bluff subdivision off St. Johns Bluff Road has died, authorities said.

Police later identified the woman as 28-year-old Alicia Marie Ducceschi.

A Jacksonville Sheriff's Office traffic homicide detective said that Ducceschi was struck by a Buick Rendezvous at the intersection of Pacific Silver and Lost Pine drives about 2:15 p.m. The driver stopped and was cooperating with police.

Police have not yet determined who was at fault in the crash, or whether speed was a factor.

Ducceschi's parents said she celebrated her 28th birthday recently, and they are devastated by her loss.

Neighbors concerned about roads

Jay Fesco, who has lived in the area with his wife for 10 years, saw video of the crash recorded by his security camera.

"I saw it on my security system and the truck seemed to turn at a normal speed," Fesco said. "It didn't look to me on the videotape like anybody was doing anything wrong. It's just an unfortunate incident."

Despite there being speed humps every few yards on the road, neighbors said the high volume of traffic continues to be a problem in the neighborhood, which is filled with children. 

"They put in the speed bumps probably six years ago, and it's really helped. It's really slowed things down. However, you see cars on this strip trying to see how fast they can go between the speed bumps. Literally," Fesco said. "This a real race track. These cars are going the speed you're supposed to be going right now, and as soon as these cops are gone, they'll be back up to 60 mph."

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said he worked the area years ago before he left the sheriff's office and remembers when the speed bumps were installed.

“It seems like it did slow traffic down somewhat. Without the speed bumps, they would be going even faster,” Smith said.

Nancy Davis, president of the Pine Bluff Homeowners Association, has lived in the neighborhood for 13 years. She said it took the subdivision three years to get four different speed bumps. However, the speed bumps haven't solved the problem. 

She showed News4Jax photos of an incident that happened Monday.

"A vehicle was speeding and lost control and ran off the road, but hit several trees and knocked the speed bump signs out," Davis said.

Davis said she hopes Wednesday's tragic accident brings awareness to the safety issue that residents face. 

"It's unfortunate that it happened. But it's a dangerous road and I don't think anyone should ride bikes on it, because you can't trust the drivers and what they're doing," Davis said.

Some even said they would never ride a bike on that road because of how bad it is.

According to state law, bicyclists can ride on sidewalks, but must follow the rules and laws pedestrians follow.

Bicyclists riding on the street have to make sure they're moving with traffic, unlike pedestrians, who should walk against traffic so they can react if a car is coming toward them.

“(At) this intersection, there is no stop sign, so the driver does have the right-of-way to continue the right turn, as she was doing,” Smith said. “For some reason, she just did not see the bicyclist. That's why it is on the bicyclist to make sure the driver knows that you are there by making eye contact. And if you can't, the best thing to do is just stop.”

Family members said that Ducceschi just completed a hospitality program at the Hyatt Regency. They are in the process of planning her funeral. 

The Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the crash.