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911 calls reveal reckless driver's actions before hitting bicyclist in Martin County

Posted at 11:33 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 04:22:50-04

Local deputies are praising a man’s decision to say something when he saw something.

A good Samaritan called 911 when he saw a reckless driver in Martin County, giving deputies a head start to help a man on a bicycle who was eventually hit by the driver.

Monday morning, the good Samaritan noticed the reckless driver heading east on Bridge Road toward U.S. 1.

The driver, identified as Nicolas Barahona-Neira, 24, was swerving between lanes, prompting the good Samaritan to call 911.

He initially thought Neira was a woman.

“She is all over the road. She keeps going from the shoulder out past the yellow line, I mean just repeatedly,” the good Samaritan told 911 dispatchers.

He proceeds to give dispatchers a vehicle description, tag number and direction of travel for several minutes.

Meanwhile, deputies were receiving all that information while heading to the area.

“Oh man, she’s clearing the other lane … She almost went head on into a tractor trailer,” the good Samaritan continued to tell dispatchers.

The deputies were not able to get to the area in time to stop Neira from hitting the bicyclist, sending the bicyclist to the hospital. Deputies say the bicyclist needed surgery on his leg but will survive.

Deputies got to the bicyclist within a minute of the accident. They were able to render aid more quickly thanks to the head start, and keep him comfortable before an ambulance arrived.

The good Samaritan also gave deputies probable cause to believe they were pulling up on a possible impaired driver.

Deputy Jacob Blaszyk said Neira failed a field test, but passed a breathalyzer. Neira admitted to deputies that he had taken drugs the previous night and only had an hour of sleep.

“He helped tremendously in my investigation. Without him it would have been difficult,” Blaszyk said of the good Samaritan.

He hopes anyone who sees someone driving dangerously follows this caller’s example.

“The guy that called 911 really set the standard as to what we want to see when people call 911,” said Blaszyk.

Barahona-Neira is facing charges for driving under the influence, possessing multiple controlled substances and intent to sell marijuana.