Questions linger after bicyclist killed on Blanding Boulevard

Family says Tony Burns, 28, was aware of bike safety

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – Family members of a bicyclist killed on Blanding Boulevard said they still have questions about the crash.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 28-year-old man died after he collided with a pickup truck on Blanding Boulevard while riding a bicycle about 8:30 a.m. May 9.

The bicyclist was identified by family as Tony Burns.

“He was genuinely an innocent person. He treated everybody nicely," said Katalina Burns, Tony Burn’s sister. “He was just nice and a good person."

She told News4Jax she’s frustrated and filled with questions about what happened.

“How do you know if they weren’t there, and right now, it’s a one-sided story and that’s the driver story, so I need somebody to speak on Tony‘s behalf. Like what happened?” she said.

She took to Facebook with her concerns, asking if anyone saw the crash. A few people responded, but she said she wishes she knew more.

According to troopers, the bicyclist was riding south on the northbound sidewalk along Blanding Boulevard and the truck was heading north in the outside travel lane. Troopers said the bicyclist entered the outside travel lane of Blanding Boulevard, colliding with the right side of the truck.

Tony Burns’ family said he had medical conditions all his life but was always able to ride a bike and was always careful when riding down busy Blanding Boulevard.

“He’s very aware of bike safety and everything like that. His disabilities, I would say, are more on the mild side. He’s ridden a bike all his life up and down Blanding, and he lasted this long, so I don’t think it was him," Katalina Burns said. “Unless maybe this one instance he made one small mistake and it cost him his life.”

The family said funeral arrangements were put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Family members are accepting donations in honor of Tony Burns’ life, as they said he was well known in the community.

The money will benefit the Clay County Police Athletic League, which News4Jax was told was instrumental in helping Tony Burns get on the right path when he was younger. News4Jax was also told Tony Burns loved the police.

You can take donations to 450 Parkwood Drive in Orange Park or call Clay PAL at 904-591-0729.

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