MIAMI – A cab driver may have fallen asleep at the wheel early Sunday morning before plowing into a group of bicyclists out for a leisurely morning ride on the MacArthur Causeway, police said.

The 8 a.m. accident left many of the riders sprawled on the pavement in the eastbound lane and sent six to the hospital.

The most seriously injured was a 48-year-old man who was taken into surgery and listed in critical condition; the five others were in stable condition.

After the accident, two bicycles were still attached to the cab, one crushed underneath it, the other by its front passenger door. The cab’s windshield was shattered.

Police identified the driver as Herbert Morais, 52, with the Checker Cab company.

“He’s openly admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel of the car,” said Detective Juan Sanchez, a Miami Beach police department spokesman. “At this point he hasn’t been charged with anything. The investigation is still on going.”

Michael S. Kaufman, an attorney for the cab company, said the company was still trying to reach the driver, and he could not comment on what the driver told police.

The company ensures all drivers are properly licensed with Miami-Dade County, he added. The accident occurred in the eastbound lanes of the causeway in the southernmost lane, at the entrance to Palm Island.

Morais, who did not have any passengers, struck the riders from behind.

The group of cyclists are not part of an official club, but friends who get together on the weekends to ride.


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