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Carlos Bertonatti Was A Terrible, Terrible Driver Long Before He Killed A Biker

What kind of person drunkenly slams into a biker on the Rickenbacker Causeway and then speeds away while the cyclist bleeds to death on the road?

via Miami-Dade Police Department
​​In the case of this Sunday's horrific crash, its the same kind of person who can rack up more than 40 traffic violations in twelve years.

Namely, it's Carlos Bertonatti, who in addition to being a wannabe John Mayer crooner with a Sony recording contract was also one of Miami's worst drivers. 

Bertonatti can now add charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a fatal accident, driving without a license and resisting arrest to that lengthy record. 

Police say on Sunday the 28-year-old Bertonatti was driving drunk when he crushed Christopher Lecanne, a 44-year-old cyclist, near Key Biscayne and then sped away with his bike lodged under the front of his Volkswagen.

A search of Bertonatti's driving record (with thanks to a number of posters on Monday who pointed Riptide toward the violations) shows six infractions in 2009 alone, ranging from failure to pay a toll to parking permit fraud to driving without insurance.

Since he started driving in Miami-Dade in late 1997, Bertonatti piled up 41 different traffic charges. 

Ten times, he was stopped for speeding. According to witnesses to Sunday's accident, Bertonatti did so much damage to his car when he hit Lecanne that he likely was traveling over 60 mph on the bridge, well over the 45 mph limit.

The rest of the violations include running stop signs, ignoring traffic lights and driving repeatedly without insurance or registration.

It's not clear whether Bertonatti lost his license at any point because of his horrific driving record.

Remember Gabriel Delrisco? Last January, he was driving drunk when he rear ended an SUV and killed three children. It turned out he had 26 violations in just seven years but never lost his license.

Bertonatti was cited on Sunday for driving without a license, so it's possible that the state may have finally suspended his privileges.

Should the state have known this guy was capable of mowing down a biker and leaving him to die? No way.

But in hindsight, his record paints the picture of a guy not particularly concerned with the law -- or other people's safety.

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Tim Elfrink is an award-winning investigative reporter, the managing editor of the Miami New Times and the co-author of "Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era." Since 2008, he's written in-depth pieces on police corruption, fatal shootings and social justice issues across South Florida. He's won the George Polk Award and has been a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink