ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The widow of a bicyclist hit and killed in 2012 was awarded $4 million by a St. Johns County jury on Thursday.
More than four years ago, Jared Bynum was cycling on Nocatee Parkway to train for an Ironman competition when he was fatally struck by an SUV.
His wife, Kelli Bynum, and her attorney, Seth Pajcic, say Thursday's verdict not only vindicated Jared Bynum, it also delivered a message to all drivers who share the road with bicyclists.
Kelli Bynum said she now feels a sense of relief after winning her lawsuit against the driver who killed her husband.
“I feel like I really haven’t been able to take a good breath in four and half years since my husband died, so definite relief. I’m overjoyed, and I feel like his name was cleared," Kelli Bynum said.
In October 2012, Shannon Brink drove up behind Jared Bynum, hit him and killed him. Investigators said both were at fault, ruling that Brink should have been more careful and Jared Bynum should have been cycling closer to the edge of the road instead of on the highway itself.
But Jared Bynum's wife and her attorney feel Thursday's verdict cleared his name.
"The jury of his peers and her peers has spoken and they said Jared Bynum is not at fault for this. This is the fault of the motorist who ran him over in broad daylight," Pajcic said.
Pajcic said the developer of the Nocatee Parkway was also found not responsible for the lack of signs telling bicyclists that they were banned on the stretch of roadway where Jared Bynum was killed.
“The developer was not held responsible. The jury found them to have no fault at all," Pajcic said. "We had previously settled with the engineer for a confidential amount, but they remained on the verdict form and the jury's verdict found the engineer to be primarily responsible for the signs."
As a result of Jared Bynum’s death, signs have been posted.
News4Jax attempted to get in touch with Brink through her attorney, but the phone calls have not yet been returned.