Driver in cyclist's death submits to drug test
MIAMI (WSVN) -- A South Florida driver accused in a deadly hit and run crash has submitted to a drug test during his appearance in court.
Friday morning 25-year-old Michele Traverso's attorney asked the judge if his client could take a drug test. "We're voluntarily willing to have him submit to a drug test today," said Ray De La Cabada.
The judge agreed and Traverso's test came back clean.
Police charged Traverso in the case where Aaron Cohen, an avid cyclist and father of two, was hit by a car while riding his bike on the Rickenbacker Causeway Wednesday morning.
Prosecutors said Traverso fled the scene and Cohen later succumbed to his injuries.
Traverso's attorney said his client is not denying that he was the behind the wheel. "I'm saying he was driving the car and it was an accident, we surrendered and we were willing to surrender earlier in the day," said De La Cabada.
Traverso is also dealing with a previous drug charge that stems from a cocaine charge back in May. He was ordered to complete a drug program in order to have the charge against him dropped.
However, Traverso's new charges from the fatal hit and run accident are a direct violation of the probationary program.
Nonetheless, his attorney insists that his client is drug free. "He's an all-star in this program. This is a horrible tragedy and that's what it is," said Cabada, "and the crime here is that he left the scene, which is inexcusable but that's the crime and I want everybody to remember that."
Meantime, a detective on the case is watching the proceedings very closely. "I would like to see that justice is served and that we have the right person, behind the wheel of that vehicle that committed that crime," said Miami Police Detective Lorraine Rubio.
Traverso is scheduled to appear in court for his arraignment in 21 days.
During the interim, the State may upgrade the charges against Traverso due to Cohen's death.
Another tribute for Cohen has been scheduled for Saturday morning on the Rickenbacker Causeway.
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