Family, friends grieve bicyclist's death
Updated On: Aug 09 2013 07:41:23 PM EDT
This wasn't how Sean Stevens' brother was supposed to spend his Friday, grieving next to flowers and balloons.
Both are silent reminders of the accident that took the 26-year-old's life.
On Thursday night, an SUV hit and killed Stevens as he rode his bike in the bike line on State Road A1A near Marlin Avenue, a half-mile from his home.
Eliza Young lived near Stevens and had to break the news to her 9-year-old son, whom she says Stevens treated like a little brother.
"He was always going fishing, and one day he helped to make a bow and arrow and taught him how to fish," Young said. "He was a nice guy."
Friends say the Nease High School graduate grew up in the area. He was living with his mother and working with a local landscaper.
Vito Longo said Stevens would stop in at his shoe repair shop almost every day after work.
"When he came in, he was sweating," Longo said. "And I know what he did. He put a good day's labor in and I know that he earned every penny he got. And what he would do, he would just talk about that and say, 'Oh, man, I was just up and I think I found a new fishing hole."
Longo said Stevens loved fishing and would ride his bike all the time, often to new fishing holes and often along A1A.
"He always rode a bike, and he was always, I mean, he was one of those kind of kids too who could ride a bike and drink a soda at the same time," Longo said.
State troopers said they are still looking into what caused the crash, and they said Saundra Scofield, the woman who was driving, is cooperating with the investigation. Troopers said as of Friday, there is no indication Scofield was trying to turn, had alcohol in her system or was distracted by a cellphone.
Scofield has a history of arrests in St. Johns County, including DUI, to which she pleaded no contest. She was arrested in 2009 (pictured, right in booking photo) on traffic charges and possession of marijuana.
A1A is a popular road for bicyclists, according to Florida Highway Patrol, but state troopers say the number of accidents is low for the amount of bike traffic.
This year there has only been one other bicycle accident along A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach. It was not fatal. In 2012, there were four bicycle accidents in the same area, one of which resulted in a death.
As troopers continue their investigation into the latest tragic accident, Stevens' family and friends will try their best to move forward in the face of his sudden loss.
"He was always riding around and he was just always a smile on his face," Young said. "He was just a real nice guy."
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