A tragic bicycle accident has claimed the life of a popular television meteorologist.
Estero resident James Reif, age 61, died following an accident that occurred at approximately 11 a.m. Sunday on Ben Hill Griffin Parkway. Because the accident occurred on the roadway, the Lee County Sheriff's Office Traffic Homicide Unit assumed the investigation.
According to the preliminary investigation, Reif, who was the NBC2 director of meteorology, was riding alone northbound on the sidewalk along Ben Hill Griffin Parkway. Reif crossed the entrance to the Miramar Lakes community and was attempting to get to the sidewalk on the other side. At that time, Reif struck the curb causing him to lose control and then clipped a crosswalk sign with his handlebars. Reif, who was not wearing a helmet, struck the pavement suffering a severe head injury. A group of bicyclists also riding in the area rushed to his aid and quickly called for help.
Reif was rushed to the hospital, but died from his injuries last night. The investigation shows no sign of alcohol or impairment.
Traffic Homicide Investigators are asking anyone that witnessed the accident to call the Lee County Sheriff's Office Traffic Unit at 477-1636.