Nicholas A. Ceraldi, a 50-year-old resident of Firethorn Lane in Palm Coast, was killed shortly after midnight this morning when the motorcycle he was driving struck two deer on his street.
The crash was reported 40 minutes after midnight. Ceraldi was traveling east on Firethorn, toward his home, when he struck the deer. He was severely injured at the scene, where he was found in front of 46 Firethorn Lane, and was transported to AdventHealth Palm Coast, where he died, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
An emergency helicopter had been placed on standby but later cancelled. Flagler County Sheriff’s units were first on the scene, along with the Palm Coast Fire Department and Flagler County Fire Rescue, one of whose ambulances transported Ceraldi to the hospital. Firethorn Lane was closed for two hours as FHP’s troopers investigated. FHP’s report states that Ceraldi was not wearing a helmet. (Florida law does not require adult motorcyclists to wear a helmet.)
Ceraldi had been from New York and had family out of state. The family received notification a few hours after the crash.
One or both deer that were struck were injured and put down by deputies at the scene. One of them may already have been killed in the collision.
According to Florida Highway Patrol data, this morning’s crash was the 23rd resulting in a fatality this year, with a total of 26 fatalities, most of them occurring on state and national roads–A1A, 100, U.S. 1, I-95. Ceraldi’s death is the seventh involving a motorcyclist this year.
The number of fatal crashes had been declining steadily in Florida and the united States until around 2015, when it started rising again. The rise has been led significantly by a spike in motorcyclists’ road deaths, which have increased 140 percent since 1994, while fatalities of car or truck drivers and passengers have fallen 10 and 42 percent.