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Woman dies after bicycle accident Alcohol may have been a contributing factor; Bicyclist was not wearing helmet

OKEECHOBEE -- Alcohol and no safety helmet may have been contributing causes in the delayed fatality of a woman who fell from her bicycle onto a concrete culvert on New Year’s Eve, stated an accident report.

According to that report by Deputy Adrian Rogers, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), Linda Rae Hill, 52, apparently died from “... complications stemming from her injuries.”

The deputy’s accident report went on to indicate that the woman’s official cause of death won’t be known until a report is issued by the District 19 Medical Examiner’s Office.

Deputy Rogers stated in his report that Ms. Hill, of a S.E. 33rd Terrace address in Okeechobee, was riding her black Huffy bicycle in a northerly direction on that street when the accident occurred around 3:47 p.m. on Dec. 31.

Apparently the woman, who had allegedly been drinking alcohol most of the day, traveled off the road onto the northbound shoulder of the street. She then fell into a drainage ditch and struck the left side of her head on a concrete culvert, added the report.

Deputy Rogers stated that the woman sustained lacerations and abrasions to the left side of her face, and had possibly fractured her neck.

The report goes on to state that she was unconscious for an unknown period of time.

When Ms. Hill awoke, she apparently crawled out of the ditch and crossed the street then sat down next to a power pole. A passing motorist saw the woman and contacted the sheriff’s office.

Okeechobee County Fire/Rescue responded and treated Ms. Hill at the scene, then took her to Raulerson Hospital.
Deputy Rogers stated that blood was found on the culvert and a large puddle of blood was found at the bottom of the ditch where she was lying. It’s not known how long she was in the ditch.

When the deputy spoke with Ms. Hill shortly after the accident she was reportedly unable to tell him what happened, other than she was riding her bike. The deputy went on to say that she had a strong odor of alcohol about her and that her eyes were bloodshot and her speech was slurred.

The deputy was notified the next day that she had died.

Ms. Hill’s bicycle was inspected and, stated the deputy, it was found to be in sound mechanical condition. Deputy Rogers went on to state that nothing was found to indicate that the Huffy had been struck by another vehicle.

Weather conditions did not play a part in the accident, added the report, since the skies were clear and winds were out of the east at 9 mph.

Ms. Hill’s Florida driver’s license had been revoked, Deputy Rogers stated.