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Woman arrested for DUI manslaughter after fatal hit-and-run involving bicyclist on 10-Cent Bridge

MCSO: Elise Victoria Elder, 23, struck 67-year-old bicyclist on Friday morning, then took off
Posted at 8:32 AM, Jun 28, 2024

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Highway Patrol said a 23-year-old woman is under arrest after a deadly hit-and-run crash involving a bicyclist on the 10-Cent Bridge leading from Stuart into Sewall's Point on Friday.

The FHP said a 67-year-old man from Sewall's Point was riding his bike east on A1A toward South Sewall's Point Road — in the bike lane — at approximately 6:45 a.m.

That's when a 2019 BMW 535I went into the bike lane and rear-ended the bicyclist.

The driver, identified by the Martin County Sheriff's Office as Elise Victoria Elder, 23, then took off, according to the FHP.

The bicyclist, identified by the Martin County Sheriff's Office as Martin Drummond, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Not long after the fatal wreck, Elder was found and arrested for DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash involving death, the Martin County Sheriff's Office said.

The bridge, also known as the Evans Crary Bridge, was closed eastbound for hours on Friday, but eventually reopened at approximately 1:30 p.m.

"It's a shame when we lose anybody," cyclist Sharon McGinnis of Martin County told WPTV's Dave Bohman. "But it's just as much of a risk riding a bike as anything else."

Statistics show cycling in Florida is riskier than most other states. According to traffic statistics from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, WPTV found that over the last two full years, there were more than 200 cyclists killed on Florida roads in crashes with cars.

Here's a breakdown of bicycle fatalities since 2019:

2019: 155

2020: 127

2021: 169

2022: 212

2023: 215

Even after the deadly crash at the base of the bridge in Sewall's Point, we saw cars swerving into the bike lane at the bridge.

"In the bike lane, you never know when somebody's going to stop looking where they're going and look at their phone," said McGinnis. "Because I've seen people go into the bike lane as I'm biking."

Investigators blamed the deadly crash on an impaired driver, but a leading bicycle safety group said most deadly crashes are caused by drivers distracted by their cell phones, or driving into the glare of sunrise and sunsets.

According to the arrest affidavit, Corporal Jean Deravil arrived at 7:29 a.m. and interviewed a witness to the crash, who said that he and Elder "were traveling east on SE Ocean Boulevard from SE Monterey Road" when Elder passed him at "a high rate of speed." The witness claimed he was going "approximately 48 mph on the bridge" and claimed Elder's car was traveling approximately 90 mph.

Elder did not stop at the crash scene, and dragged the bicycle from the scene on the car exterior, leaving it on the "west shoulder of the roadway near 95 S Sewalls Point Road."

At 8:04 a.m. Elder refused a field sobriety test at her residence; she later agreed to give a breath sample. She was arrested at her residence at 1:25 p.m. and transported to Martin County Jail.