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Carlos Bertonatti Still Hasn't Faced a Trial Two Years After Last Rickenbacker Bike Tragedy

Categories: Bike Blog, Crime
bertonattinewmug.jpg
Carlos Bertonatti
​When police arrested 25-year-old Michele Traverso yesterday on charges that he fatally struck a cyclist on the Rickenbacker Causeway before speeding away, Miami cyclists felt a tragic sense of déjà vu. Just over two years ago, police say another young driver named Carlos Bertonatti ran after fatally hitting another cyclist on almost the exact same stretch of the bridge.

As the family of the biker killed early on Wednesday -- a 36-year-old dad named Aaron Cohen -- deals with the tragedy, relatives of Christophe LeCanne, who died in January 2010, are still waiting for his accused killer to face trial. Bertonatti has been free on house arrest since December 2010.

Frustrating as the delayed justice might be for cycling advocates, prosecutors say it's not unusual for a case like Bertonatti's. The aspiring musician from a wealthy Argentine family is preparing to vigorously fight his felony DUI manslaughter charges, so prosecutors have to prepare carefully.

"When a case involves a violent death, the defense has the right to request so many things that it can take a really, really long time," Terry Chavez, a spokeswoman for the State Attorney's Office, tells Riptide. "You don't want to rush a case to trial and face an appeal."

Chavez says Bertonatti has shown no signs that he'll work with the state on a plea deal, despite the seemingly strong evidence against him.

Bertonatti led police on a brief chase through Key Biscayne with LeCanne's bike wedged under his bumper, and then blew a .122 -- well over the legal limit of .08 -- after his arrest, according to the cops.

"We're expecting to take these charges to trial," Chavez says. Bertonatti's attorney, Leonard Sands, didn't return a message from Riptide.

The parallels between Bertonatti's case and the new charges against Traverso are sure to bring new demands that the county make biking safer on the Rickenbacker.

After LeCanne's death in 2010, cycling advocates flooded a County Commission meeting to demand a dedicated bike path across the bridge, which is one of the most popular cycling routes in Miami-Dade.

Bart Sherwood spoke at that meeting, showing photos of injuries he sustained when a car hit him on the Rickenbacker. "Nothing's going to change until you decide to start enforcing traffic laws and taking down some speeders out there," Sherwood told the commission at the time.

It's not clear whether police will charge Traverso with driving under the influence -- especially since he didn't turn himself in until more than a full day after the 6 a.m. Wednesday crash. But Traverso was driving under a suspended license when police say he barreled into Cohen and another rider, Enda Welsh.

Welsh escaped with relatively minor injuries but Cohen -- who has two kids, 3-year-old Lilly and 1-year-old Aiden -- died from head wounds.

The South Florida Bike Coalition has organized a memorial ride in honor of Cohen for Saturday, starting at Biscayne and Flagler Street at 8:45 and headed across the Rickenbacker to Key Biscayne.

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22 comments
Firmin Matheson
Firmin Matheson

The incidenthas made a terrible impact on both parties that changed their lives. We shouldremember that driving under the influence of alcohol is a big responsibilityand mishandling it will cause trouble, not only for you but for other people aswell. It is needless to say that everyone should face the consequences of theiractions.

Ttsturrup
Ttsturrup

The women going to space nation be naked.

James
James

the sister respect

Steria75
Steria75

This has nothing to do with being a rich immigrant, this is about being a human and survival. Carlos has always been scared of the types of things he would be subjected to in prison, and under no circumstances does he feel that he should have to live day after day of having his ass at risk of being pounded in prison. Yes, he killed Le Canne, was driving drunk, hit & run, suspended license, 50+ tickets over the past few years... all of that is just awful. HOWEVER, he thinks that being fucked regularly by men in prison is a worse kind of hell, maybe just as bad as being killed by a drunk driver, and so do his parents.  So instead of being forced to turn gay in prison, they will fight every inch of it, no pun intended. 

Sue Club Space
Sue Club Space

2 years? This killer is still not in prison?

Why doesn't the victims family sue Club Space ?

Killer club
Killer club

Club Space is a cess pool full of criminals.

Space still open?
Space still open?

What happened to the lawsuit against the drug club, Space, for over serving this douche? Doesn't Space have responsibility for selling this creep so much liquor (and drugs) he couldn't see straight?

What happened to the Club Space customer who was found murdered and burnt to a crisp in a dumpster?

Pmracc@gmail.com
Pmracc@gmail.com

WTF *1b. Traffic laws enforced in Miami ? What is that? Imagine , cops have been arrested for careless reckless driving so WTF!!!

mc1987
mc1987

Interestingly enough, Bertonatti and Traverso live in the same building complex on Grapetree Drive and the Ocean.  Interesting Traverso waited until the alcohol was out before he turned himself in.  How is it possible that the defense could have a case favoring Bertonatti?  The only complicating factor in the whole thing is that it took the first responders too long to get to the first victim.  

Argentinehater
Argentinehater

hope this argentine piece of shit gets dragged by a huge hook up his ass.

luldangs
luldangs

He probably wasn't that drunk on a BAC of .122, if at all. I bet it takes him much more to get sloppy behind the wheel, He's probably just a reckless douche bag in general. Look at his face, not one shit was given that night. 

Drug club
Drug club

Why is Club Space still open? Bribing downtown police and elected officials?

Edward Wild
Edward Wild

What money can buy in MIAMi.You got all this rich immigrants that they think they are allabove the law.They do as they please just like living in South America.I wish they all go back where they belong.

Club Space killer
Club Space killer

Club Space. Carlos Bertonatti was drinking and possibly using drugs at Club Space moments before he got in his car to drive drunk and kill the cyclist. He left the 24/7 drug den Club Space at 7:30 am?

When will he be tried?

Dirtbag
Dirtbag

Disgusting, this entitled turd drug a bicycle for MILES until he was hunted down in front of his house by other bikers.   No way he should be free right now.   Fing Miami....

Carlos Taborda
Carlos Taborda

That's racist. I'm an immigrant and I respect and abide all the laws. Don't generalize.

Focusontheissue
Focusontheissue

 Of course there aren't any rich "gringos" who manipulate the system with their money. Who's ever heard such a thing? It's all these rich immigrants who control the world.

zosocane
zosocane

Ed, if you had the money, and you were in a cluster***k of a situation, you would get the best lawyers you could hire.  Don't blame rich immigrants or South America. Plenty of rich U.S. citizens get into legal jams and hire the best lawyers they can find.  (See, e.g., Lance Armstrong.)  Blame our criminal justice system, which strongly favors defendants with an incredibly high burden of proof (beyond a reasonable doubt) and lets 12 generally unsophisticated individuals decide if you're guilty or not.  Sadly, it is what it is.  It sounds like Bertonatti is refusing to take a plea and forcing the State of Florida to try him (at your cost and my cost).  It would not surprise me if he walks.

Angelica
Angelica

You should really stop assuming you idiot! Where you with him that night? Are you 100% sure he did drugs that night??? Get your facts straight and stop being so ignorant

seep
seep

all THIS rich immigrants!  Don't misquote the man.

Marc
Marc

Ignorant???? You are the one who is ignorant for defending this piece of dirt! Drugs or not, he killed a man, hope he gets what he deserves.

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