Sarasota Ballet dancer killed in bicycle accident

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SARASOTA, FL. - The Sarasota Police Department is currently investigating a deadly bicycle crash.

It happened Wednesday around 2 p.m. in the 5400 block of Bayshore Road, in front of the Ringling Museum of Art.

According to Sarasota Police, 20-year-old Sarasota Ballet member Pedro Pupa of Brazil was killed when the bicycle he was riding collided with a delivery truck. The delivery truck, driven by 58-year-old Willie G. Burns Tampa was making a right onto a service entrance road leading into the Ringling Museum. The delivery truck pulled in front of Pupa as he was approaching the road and failed to see Pupa or the bicycle.

Pupa’s bicycle hit the side of the delivery truck and Pupa was injured. He was transported to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton where he died from his injuries Wednesday evening. Burns, the driver of the delivery truck, has been charged with violation of right away to a bicyclist.

The investigation is ongoing.

Pedro Pupa

Statement from Sarasota Ballet:

“Our hearts are breaking, as our much-loved little angel, Pedro Pupa was taken so tragically from this world. We are still in disbelief and it is going to take some time for us all to come to terms with the sadness we feel for our enormous loss. Pedro was a very special young man with such energy and a zest for life, but most especially we will remember him for his beautiful smile that radiated and lit everywhere he went and also for his great love and passion for dancing. He was a gentle and happy soul, and always showing such generosity to all his friends, family and colleagues. He was also brave and determined, when an injured knee prevented him from dancing, he fought all odds to work back and become an even better dancer. Only a few hours before the accident, he was at the studio doorway waving and smiling at me telling me that he was happy because he was doing class again. I will remember this image of him always. Iain and I send our love and condolences to his family and to all his friends. We will all miss Pedro, more than words can describe, but he will be in our hearts and thoughts forever,” said Margaret Barbieri, Assistant Director for The Sarasota Ballet.