ST. PETERSBURG — A woman has died from injuries she received when she was struck by an electronic scooter driver while riding a bicycle, police said Tuesday.
Alvera B. Minutello, 77, of St. Petersburg, was critically injured when she was hit by the scooter at 12:10 p.m. Thursday while pedaling her bicycle west on 18th Avenue N, approaching 66th Street. Tyler Andrew Brady, 22, was riding a scooter east on 18th Avenue N, crossing the intersection at 66th Street.
The scooter and bicycle collided head-on just east of the intersection. Investigators said the scooter failed to swerve out of the way, even though most of the eastbound lane on 18th Avenue N was open and unobstructed. Brady was not injured in the crash, police said.
Police said Minutello had been riding against the flow of traffic, in an apparent attempt to turn onto 66th Street and bike to the Publix located in the 1600 block of 66th Street. An arrest affidavit said Minutello was as close as possible to the south curb and had possibly stopped by the curb to allow the scooter and an eastbound vehicle to pass.
Brady was arrested Tuesday on a charge of manslaughter via culpable negligence and booked into the Pinellas County Jail, police said. Brady initially said he did not intend to hit Minutello but, after he’d been read his rights, he said he drove straight into her and did not take any action to avoid hitting her or minimize the effects of the collision, according to his arrest affidavit.
Brady was driving the scooter at 17-18 mph when he saw Minutello from about 80 feet away, according to the report. Police said he did not attempt to slow down by braking.
Minutello was an active woman who liked to bike and swim, recalled her friend, 69-year-old St. Petersburg resident Kristine Moss. The two met through a local Elks Lodge, where they took exercise classes together. Minutello would go swimming with her husband at the Elks Lodge at 7 a.m. every day, then return again at 10 a.m. for water fitness classes there, Moss said. Minutello always rode her bike to and from that 10 a.m. class, she added.
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Minutello, Moss and their friends would often get together for birthday celebrations, and Minutello always brought Jell-O shots, purchased at the lodge, to the festivities, Moss said. Minutello also liked to decorate for parties and order birthday cakes for the group’s celebrations.
“She was just a great socialite,” Moss said.
Minutello was known as a kind, caring and fearless woman, her friend said.
“She always figured she had nothing to lose,” Moss said.