Bicyclist, 54, hit, killed by garbage truck

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - St. Johns County deputies are investigating a fatal crash Friday morning involving a truck and an adult bicyclist in the area of Flora Branch Boulevard and Strawberry Lane at the entrance to the Wood Bridge subdivision in Julington Creek Plantation.

Deputies responded to a report of a crash at 9:15 a.m. The bicyclist, 54-year-old Richard Petry, was dead when investigators arrived at the scene.

"It appears there were witnesses around," said Sgt. Catherine Payne. "We're going to talk to them and find out exactly what occurred."

Kami Harrison saw the accident minutes after it happened and stopped to help.

"It looked like he was struck on the front of his bicycle and it looked like the front of the trash truck ran over his chest," she said.

Deputies said a Seaboard Waste Systems garbage truck driven by Fernando LaMota, of St. Augustine, was heading eastbound on Strawberry crossing Flora Branch and Petry was heading northbound on Flora Branch on his bike when the crash occurred.

Motorists were urged to avoid the area as there were traffic delays while traffic homicide detectives investigated the crash.

Deputies said charges are pending.

"I can't imagine just riding your bike and not coming home after a situation like this," Harrison said. "So someone's family is missing their father or their husband." 

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