Identity Released Of Bicyclist Struck And Killed On Highway 29

April 6, 2013

A bicyclist was struck by a vehicle and killed this afternoon on Highway 29 in Cantonment.

The accident happened about 3:50 p.m.  in the northbound lanes of Highway 29 just south of Archer Road, near Johnson’s Septic Tank.  The Florida Highway Patrol said 51-year old Leila K. Pouncey of Pensacola was northbound in a 2012 Ford F150.  Robert G. Hemme, age 51 of Pensacola was also northbound on Highway 29 on the paved shoulder on his bicycle when he was struck by Pouncey’s pickup.

Hemme was ejected from his Schwinn bicycle; he was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The accident remains under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol. Charges are pending further investigation, according to theFHP.

Pictured: A bicyclist was struck and killed on Highway 29 in Cantonment Friday afternoon. NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Smith, click to enlarge.

Comments

52 Responses to “Identity Released Of Bicyclist Struck And Killed On Highway 29”

  1. C.Jones on April 12th, 2013 9:43 pm

    Mr.Hemme was my 10th qrade Math teacher at Pine Forest Hiqh . . qreat teacher . will be missed . qlad i qot to know him .

  2. Larry Walker on April 11th, 2013 7:32 pm

    Bob Hemme was as good as they come. What a shame. Is there a bike lane where he was killed?

  3. RENEE on April 9th, 2013 10:12 am

    Praying for Both Family’s God Bless

  4. Me for knowing the rules of the road on April 8th, 2013 11:34 pm

    @JT,

    “On a two lane road,
    pass a bicyclist like a slow moving vehicle, and only when it is safe to do so.”

    This is what the driver’s handbook says now, but I know when my daughter studied for hers 2 years ago, it plainly stated that you must always pull into the other lane to pass a bicyclist, treating them exactly like a motor vehicle. It also says “5.17
    -
    Bicyclists
    In Florida, the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle and has all of the
    privileges, rights and responsibilities to utilize the roadway as a motor
    vehicle operator does. Bicyclists on public roads (except for expressways)
    have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motorized vehicles.
    Respect the right -of-way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road
    with other drivers. Unlike motorists, bicyclists may also operate on sidewalks
    (except where prohibited by local ordinance), but must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks. Riding against the flow of traffic in the adjacent
    traffic lane on a sidewalk is not illegal. However, it places cyclists where motorists entering or leaving the roadway at driveways and intersections do
    not expect wheeled traffic. As cyclists move faster than pedestrians, conflicts between motorists and sidewalk riders at driveways and intersection crosswalks can develop rapidly.”

  5. Linda Holm on April 8th, 2013 9:55 am

    My prayers to Bob’s immediate family and although I didn’t know them I do know his brother, Bill and sister-in-law, Tina and there are no words to express my sorrow over this. They are a wonderful family and all very close. May God give you all comfort knowing Bob is rejoicing with Him and you will be reunited one day.

  6. paigecmoyers on April 7th, 2013 10:33 pm

    To all of you we are thinking of you and praying for all of you,bob was agreat dad from what i hear and loving husband and a wonderful son his dad is my stepdad GOD Bless all you we love you Paige Heather and Kerwin

  7. Janice Poolson on April 7th, 2013 6:29 pm

    I know Bob and his family and go to church with them, he rode his bike all the time and was always safe. My heart hurts for the family, no question were he is, he always stayed true to his faith. He was a godly man and he and his wife acted like they were just married, they had kept their relationship to each other so special and loving. They were soul mates, my prayers are with the wonderful sons they raised and his wife and pray that God will surround them with his grace and meet their financial needs.

  8. Ashley on April 7th, 2013 5:20 pm

    I know the victim and his family. To answer some questions about the victims faith….yes he and his family are very strong christians; he has two boys in their twenties and was VERY close with his wife. This is so tragic and Me and my family are extremly upset it hear about this accident. but glad to know he is in a much better place, please keep his family in your prayers

  9. nic on April 7th, 2013 5:11 pm

    this man is my bosses brother i am praying for the family may god give you guys some comfort in your time of need

  10. Peggy Griffith on April 7th, 2013 3:36 pm

    Father in heaven, You are the comforter the healer and the provider. You are the one who carry’s us though the hard time. As this family walks though these days ahead, during the grief bring peace, sadness bring them joy, knowing Bob is with You. Give Your angel charge over them. Loosing a husband, a father is not easy, Lord Jesus. the head is not here any longer, we have to turn to You Lord Jesus and depend on You to be our head, to guide and direct us in what we are to do. Guide Sylvia and their sons as they walk though this time together. We thank you Father that Bob is praising You. He will be missed.
    Be with the person that hit Bob, help as this person walk though this time of uncerity, be with the family. Bring healing to all invoved. in Jesus name.

  11. David Huie Green on April 7th, 2013 3:12 pm

    REGARDING:
    “I’ve had bicyclists tell me those pathways are for pedestrians, not bikes, and they ARE going to use the road even if a 3′ sidewalk runs the entire length of their trip.“

    Bicycles can legally ride on sidewalks if they exist but are to yield right of way to pedestrians. At times and in places they were not allowed on sidewalks so that might create confusion.

    To read the law on the subject:
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&U

    For a paraphrase of the law go to:
    http://www.floridabicycle.org/rules/bikelaw.html

    “Sidewalk Riding (see Section 316.2065, F.S.)
    When riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian.
    A bicyclist riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and must give an audible signal before passing.”

    “Roadway Position (see Section 316.2065, F.S.)
    A bicyclist who is not traveling at the same speed of other traffic must ride in a designated bike lane or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. A bicyclist may leave the right-most portion of the road in the following situations: when passing another vehicle moving in the same direction; when preparing for a left turn; when reasonably necessary to avoid any condition or potential conflict including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, pedestrian , animal, surface hazard, or turn lane; when a lane is too narrow for a bicycle and another vehicle to travel safely side by side.”

    Bicycles are nice but have no protection from collision.
    Don’t be a bully just because you’re bigger.

    Please try to NOT KILL a bicyclist even if he’s in your way.
    Please intend to let him live.

    David for consideration
    not blaming, just hoping

  12. Chris on April 7th, 2013 11:08 am

    > It doesn’t matter how many bike paths are made; bicyclists won’t use them because the law gives them full rights to the roadways just as a car/truck has.

    Give us more bike lanes, and they’ll be used. If there’s a marked lane, we’re obliged to stay in it unless there’s an obstacle. In any case, the presence of even painted bike lanes reduces the chance of a car-bike crash by 45%. That’s worth doing.

    The safest thing is fully segregated lane construction, with a physical barrier dividing cars and bikes. Maybe not practical in the case of a long, open highway, but there are a lot of iffy urban routes this would improve.

    @Kim: You weren’t being offensive. Thanks for caring when you pass. Hey 29 is a well-used north-south corridor, and could support a buffered bike lane.

  13. Chris on April 7th, 2013 10:05 am

    This is such a tragedy! I worked with Bob when he was a probation officer and was always impressed by his knowledge and professionalism. Bob also substituted at Pine Meadow Elementary, and both my sons knew him. My deepest sympathy, along with with thoughts and prayers, are with his family.

  14. itdoesn't matter on April 7th, 2013 9:56 am

    Unfortunately, It doesn’t matter how many bike paths are made; bicyclists won’t use them because the law gives them full rights to the roadways just as a car/truck has. I’ve had bicyclists tell me those pathways are for pedestrians, not bikes, and they ARE going to use the road even if a 3′ sidewalk runs the entire length of their trip. They don’t want to endanger the pedestrians – the road is theirs, too. I get that – it is, but I just can’t understand trying to prove a point rather than be a bit safer. To each their own – I may not agree with the bicyclists, but I do obey the law and allow them their rights to the roadway. Very sad, my prayers with the family.

  15. Brooke on April 7th, 2013 4:28 am

    Pensacola needs more bike/walking paths! When will the county decide that enough is enough and help make Pensacola safer for the walkers/bicyclists who are becoming more and more prevalent??

    This is so tragic. I’m always overly saddened when a pedestrian or bicyclist is gravely injured or killed by a motorist.

  16. Sandy on April 7th, 2013 12:02 am

    To those asking, Bob knew the Lord. He and his family are members of Marcus Point Baptist Church on “W” Street in Pensacola. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Sylvia. If you need anything, I’m here for you and the boys.

  17. Adam on April 7th, 2013 12:01 am

    As the son of the man killed, thank you for all your prayers. He did know the Lord and has gone to be with Him. Please continue to pray for both our family and the family of the driver; to be involved in somone’s death like this must be a nightmare.

  18. Busbee on April 6th, 2013 10:40 pm

    Can’t believe that happen to him that I know of them from my mpbc .. Sigh driver suppose drive slow down or pull over other lane. Driver no excuse for that!!!!! Seem driver don’t care and hit that fast!!!!

  19. JT on April 6th, 2013 9:48 pm

    @Me for knowing the rules of the road – there is no law that state that traffic has to change into the other lane while overtaking a bicyclist. All that is required is giving the bicyclist 3 foot of room between you and the bicyclist. I do believe that you should always move over if it is a possibility.

  20. KIm on April 6th, 2013 8:40 pm

    Again I apologize if my question offended anyone. I do know the law and move to the other lane not just because it is the law, but because I value a persons life. I would never endanger another person . How ever in heavy traffic you might not see the person on the bike until you are already to close to them for safety. The cars in front of you block your view of them. Or you go over a hill and there they are. My thoughts and prayers are with both families, and I hope our community never has to deal with a tragedy like this again.

  21. Steve F. on April 6th, 2013 8:26 pm

    “on the paved shoulder on his bicycle when he was struck by Pouncey’s pickup.”

    If this statement is accurate, the cyclist was not riding in the motor lane, the driver went off the road to hit the cyclist on the shoulder. Even if the cyclist was wobbling at the edge of the shoulder, it should have been no problem for the driver to shift a bit to the left of the motor lane to give the cyclist some safe room.

    Safe overtaking – safe passing – is the responsibility of the overtaking vehicle. Move to the left if there is room, or use that brake pedal to slow down if there isn’t room. And this highway appears to have had room to move 5 feet or more to the left.

    Strong suspicion that the driver was one or more of these:
    drunk, drugged, distracted or deliberately aggressive.
    This was a crash and a death that didn’t have to happen.

  22. David on April 6th, 2013 7:14 pm

    “HWY 29 …its made for fast moving vehicular traffic…why a bicycle on a highway”

    He was riding on the shoulder which is not considered part of the highway for driving purposes. While many cyclist feel this may be safer, you are not really noticed or visible to many motorists and they swerve and hit cyclist that way. More cyclist get hit from riding on shoulders and sidewalks than riding on the right third of the lane. The law specifically states to ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway. (Not the shoulder or gutter) I have found that by taking the road in this manner, I have fewer incidents with motorist as they are forced to change lanes as they would any other vehicle. They honk and scream and yell at me, but that just means they see me and only the most psycho would deliberately try to hit me. I’m much more concerned with the ones that talk on their cells or drop a chicken mcnugget and bend over to pick it up. That being said, this is a horrible tragedy and my heart goes out to his family.

  23. Beverley Rodriguez on April 6th, 2013 6:22 pm

    Such a terrible loss! We know Bob and his family and have confidence that he is now in Heaven, but this is SO sad. He was a Godly husband and father and his family will not be complete without him. Please pray for his wife and 2 sons that God will continue to fill them with peace that can only come from Him!

  24. Connie McClammy on April 6th, 2013 3:44 pm

    Been thinking about your family all day. We love you guys!!
    Praying for you!!

  25. Jason Roberts on April 6th, 2013 12:04 pm

    praying for the family

  26. Charles Thomas on April 6th, 2013 10:30 am

    As I commented on WEAR website, such a tragic situation; it is good to see that there are some Good Samaratins: as I passed by a man was giving CPR (not EMS personnel – they had not gotten there yet) and a lady was holding the head of the victim; what truly upsets me however is the complete negligence of drivers who stayed in the right lane where the accident had happened and didn’t even slow down even though there were numerous cars/trucks pulled off the road and it was very apparent an accident had happened. The left lane was backed up with traffic so a few irresponsible, selfish people stayed in the right lane…some driving by at a high rate of speed and others rubber necking to see what was going on. This was probably 2-3 minutes after the accident happened. My prayers are with the victim’s family and the person who hit the man.

  27. Jackie Johnson on April 6th, 2013 10:16 am

    I’m sorry this accident happened. I do hope FHP reads these comments as well, it is plain to see that Driver’s Education doesn’t properly study the rules of bicyclists in preparation of driver’s exams. A bicycle has always been treated as a car, truck or tractor on the roadway. Drivers we are suppose to use a blinker and pull over in the other lane to pass a bicycle just as any other vehicle whether it be an 18 wheeler or a Smart Car. It amazes me how ignorant so many driver’s have become in this me first generation. Go by FHP and see about picking up a driver’s handbook and read it from cover to cover or look it up on the internet. Drive Safe!! Thanks!

  28. Me for knowing the rules of the road on April 6th, 2013 9:12 am

    @Kim,

    There is ALWAYS room to move over for a bicycle because that is THE LAW!!! A bicycle has the right to the ENTIRE LANE, and in order to pass one, you must move your entire vehicle into the other lane to do so. You don’t just slide over a little bit and scoot past them. That was on the test you had to pass to get your driver’s license.

    @Baebae,

    A bicyclist has just as much right to the road as you do. If people would start realizing that and drive accordingly, we’d have a lot fewer accidents.

  29. Jan on April 6th, 2013 8:21 am

    As disturbing as it was to see the covered body of the victim of this tragic accident laying where he fell (understanding the Highway Patrol must wait for the Coroner for the investigation), I was moved by the way the officers positioned their cars the best they could to shield the view from passing vehicles and the officer who was standing at attention by those cars, as what I perceived a sign of respect. Praying for both families. They have much to deal with in the coming days.

  30. Jane on April 6th, 2013 7:48 am

    This is so sad. My sympathy to the family. My son has mirrors on his bike so he can see what is behind him. Also reflectors and lights. But bikes always have the disadvantage on the road. Be careful and enjoy your bike, but remember being in the right of way won’t help when something bigger hits you. Better to give up the right of way and be OK.

  31. baebae on April 6th, 2013 7:33 am

    HWY 29 …its made for fast moving vehicular traffic…why a bicycle on a highway…I am not speaking of the right to be there…but why put yourself in the danger…or red zone area unless its necessary ? Sad for all involved…..

  32. Kim on April 6th, 2013 6:53 am

    My prayers go out to both families and I pray no one takes offence at my question. Is there somthing we can do to make the roadways safer for both drivers of bikes and cars? I don’t mind sharing the roadways with bikes, but everytime I pass a bike I pray because you can’t always pull over if there’s another car in the other lane. I always think, oh God what if they hit a bump and fall in front of my car. This stretch of Hwy is so often used by bikes, is there anyway to add a bike lane or sidewalk. I know it would be expensive, but you can’t put a price on a life.

  33. Chris on April 6th, 2013 12:42 am

    > I still wonder why bicyclists have to go with the flow of the traffic. There is no way to avoid anyone coming behind you.

    Because we’re vehicles, like cars. Most of the same rules apply. I wouldn’t want to ride against traffic, and this isn’t legal anywhere in the world.

    I think most riders fear being hit from behind, but it’s not the most common or deadly form of car-bike crash. Almost half of all bike-car crashes are what we riders call the left hook – a car turning left onto the path of a bike. The second most common form is the right hook — a car overtaking (perhaps partially) a bike, then turning right. There’s nowhere to go. I ended up draped over a woman’s hood in Milton that way a couple years ago.

    I’m not talking about fault here, just the types of crashes.

  34. Phreda on April 6th, 2013 12:33 am

    This is so very sad but I dont think the person who asked what was on the truck ment any thing cause I also had wondered. I dont think anyone has ment to hurt anyone on here tonight I think most of us feel for someone who leaves and we just wanted to know more about the person to know them better when we do have feelings for the people involved its soo sad just know in time the sadness will get a little better its just best to remember the person so they are never lost.

  35. Me on April 5th, 2013 11:14 pm

    He had a makeshift basket on the back of his bike so he could put cans that he found in it.. Most likely what was on the front of that truck is part os that basket…

  36. wondering on April 5th, 2013 9:13 pm

    my comment was in no way ment to be disrespectful.i was just curious what that was on the truck!!… i myself hope that he knew christ and my prayers are with both families that this accident has affected…

  37. camdenrenee on April 5th, 2013 8:48 pm

    I passed this on my way home and seen the uncovered body. All l I could do was call my husband and cry. I truely broke my heart and even this late in the day I am still hurting for him. You just never know when it will be your time, or a loved ones. I pray that he knew Jesus and is at peace. I pray for his family and the poor driver of the truck that hit him, I could not imagine what they are going through right now. I would also like to thank all the first responders, nurses, and doctors that see these things daily, and still go back to work the next day. Death or people hurting is not an easy thing to see and I for one could never do the job you do. Thank you.

  38. Leigh on April 5th, 2013 7:56 pm

    I was south bound just around 4:00 there were alot of FHP as well Escambia country’s finest. The first thing I saw was the white sheet my first thought was I prayed this person knew CHRIST and that GOD be with the family and give them strength during this time. Also I had to pull over to call my husband and kids so I could tell them I love them. Life is short if you dont know Jesus you better stop and pray. So dont post stuid comments who cares what was covering front light thats not important. Im praying for the driver of the truck also thier life has been change too. God bless and Love and know Jesus our savior

  39. William on April 5th, 2013 7:25 pm

    >>in the pic of the truck… what is that on the front passenger side.. over the light ?

    The best I have been able to *guess* looking at the larger, high resolution photo is that it might be what’s left of a homemade bicycle basket.

  40. wondering on April 5th, 2013 6:58 pm

    in the pic of the truck… what is that on the front passenger side.. over the light ?

  41. Chris on April 5th, 2013 6:06 pm

    No, it’s obvious that bike was hit very hard. Rear triangle is crushed — strongest part of the bike.

  42. morgan on April 5th, 2013 5:34 pm

    we passed just about an hour ago man was laying there covered with sheet so sad we also passed numerous other wrecks praying for the families:(

  43. Richard on April 5th, 2013 5:29 pm

    I saw him riding north past the Winn-Dixie as I was waiting to make a left turn into the store. He was having trouble with his bike and looked like the chain was coming off. I was going to help him with it, but it looked like he got it going again northbound at the edge of the road. Don’t know if this may have been a contributing factor. Such a shame. Praying for the family.

  44. tina on April 5th, 2013 5:29 pm

    I must have passed by right before this happened. The man on the bike appeared to be struggling to stay on the bike and was getting very close to the edge of the traffic lane. This is really sad. Prayers to everyone involved.

  45. Michelle on April 5th, 2013 5:26 pm

    Just came by at 5:25 still havent removed the person! So sad! Praying for this family!

  46. Brande on April 5th, 2013 5:13 pm

    Praying, for the family God needed another Angel

  47. cj on April 5th, 2013 5:12 pm

    Praying for the family but I still wonder why bicyclists have to go with the flow of the traffic. There is no way to avoid anyone coming behind you.

  48. EMSguy on April 5th, 2013 5:08 pm

    Heather, the FHP and any local law enforcement have to conduct their investigation as well as wait on the arrival of FRS to pick up the deceased. It’s a common practice but always questionable by those who don’t know. FRS is usually an on-call body removal service.

  49. Becky on April 5th, 2013 4:56 pm

    Yea I just passed ten minutes ago and saw him there still. This is very sad! The bike didn’t look like it had a scratch on it.

  50. William on April 5th, 2013 4:52 pm

    >>If the accident happened at 3:50 pm, why an HOUR later is the victim still laying on the side of the road still covered with a white sheet.???

    The Florida Highway Patrol must complete their traffic homicide investigation before the victim is removed. (Any investigation into a fatal accident is called a traffic homicide investigation — so that’s not implying the pickup driver did or did not do anything wrong — that ’s what the investigation will determine)

  51. Heather Bell on April 5th, 2013 4:49 pm

    If the accident happened at 3:50 pm, why an HOUR later is the victim still laying on the side of the road still covered with a white sheet.??? I just drove by there scene if the accident and ONLY 3 patrol cars were at the scene. Praying for the victim’s family.

  52. Samantha Nowling on April 5th, 2013 4:43 pm

    Praying for the family





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