A Key Biscayne man pleaded guilty Tuesday in the drunken-driving hit-and-run crash that killed a cyclist in January 2010. He will be sentenced May 2.
Carlos Bertonatti, 32, a one-time aspiring musician, faces between 11.56 and 35 years in prison for the crash that claimed the life of Christophe LeCanne. Bertonatti pleaded guilty directly to the court, with no plea deal.
He apologized to LeCanne’s relatives, who had flown in from France for Tuesday’s hearing. He said getting behind the wheel that day “was the biggest mistake of my life.”
“What I took is irreplaceable. That’s my biggest punishment,” Bertonatti said.
Bertonatti pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter, fleeing and eluding and resisting arrest without violence.
Miami-Dade prosecutors say that Bertonatti struck LeCanne from behind on the Bear Cut Bridge after swerving into the eastbound bicycle lane about 8 a.m. Bertonatti then sped off, the victim’s bicycle still wedged under his car, until he reached the village of Key Biscayne, where he was arrested.
His blood-alcohol level was 0.122, well over the legal limit , authorities said.
LeCanne’s death — and that of cyclist Aaron Cohen on the Rickenbacker Causeway in February 2010 — prompted calls for safety from Miami’s avid cycling community.