Last Updated: 6:49 p.m.
Note: The Poppa Martinez Memorial is scheduled for Friday, April 6, at 6 p.m., at the Flagler Beach Pier. See details here.
Frederick J. Martinez, a 51-year-old Flagler Beach resident, was violently struck and killed by a work van as he rode his bike east on State Road 100 Tuesday afternoon, a little less than a mile from Old Kings Road.
The driver of the van, Palm Coast resident Robert Carlton Little, who’s turning 33 on March 24, said he’d suddenly sneezed and veered into the bike lane, causing the collision, according to a Florida Highway Patrol homicide investigator at the scene.
There is a clearly indicated bike lane along the four-lane roadway.
The wreck took place at 2:36 p.m. Martinez was riding a seven-speed dark gray and gold-striped Avalon. His body, covered in a white tarp, came to rest in the bike lane, barely straddling the white line into the driving lane, more than 50 feet from the bike itself, and almost 60 feet from the point of impact. “Most likely he got dragged from underneath the van,” the investigator said.
Martinez was wearing dark shades, which were on the ground, both lenses outside the frame, at several feet’s distance from each other, and several feet from where the bike, twisted and unrecognizable, had fallen. A dark cap that Martinez had worn, commemorating Hurricane Sandy relief, rested halfway between the bike and the victim.
The medical examiner arrived at the scene at 3:45 p.m., which was to enable authorities to remove the body and clear the scene. The two eastbound lanes of SR100 were reduced to one lane until then. The body was removed at 4:20 p.m.
The van is registered to Kimble Electric of Ormond Beach. Little was not working at the time of the wreck. He was on his way home, the investigator said. A DVD of the “director’s cut” of “Dawn of the Dead” sat on the dashboard, on the passenger side.
The investigator said that Little, who volunteered a blood sample (the highway patrol routinely and legally takes blood samples from drivers involved in road fatalities), said he was not on medication and had not been drinking, claims that will be verified through the sample. The investigator said the driver was potentially looking at a moving violations along the lines of careless driving or failing to remain in one’s lane, but no criminal charges.
“As long as there’s no criminal intent, you’re looking at an infraction,” the investigator said.
By 4:40 p.m., a Palm Coast Fire Department crew was washing down the pavement. A Kimble Electric official was clearing the van of a few effects. The van, as in all homicide investigations, will be impounded for a few days. Investigators were completing their work, and a wrecker was being called in to remove the van–which had visible damage toi its left-front end–and the bicycle.