Sarasota Ballet dancer dies after bicycle accident

Posted by MARC R. MASFERRER on June 5, 2014 

Pedro Pupa Photo by Barbara Banks/Provided by Sarasota Ballet

SARASOTA -- A 20-year-old dancer with the Sarasota Ballet has died after a bicycling accident Wednesday, according to Sarasota police.

About 2 p.m. Wednesday, in the 5400 block of Bay Shore Road, Pedro Pupa of Brazil was riding his bicycle when a delivery truck pulled in front of him as he was approaching the road leading to the Ringling Museum. The driver of the truck failed to see Pupa or the bicycle," police said in a news release.

"Pupa's bicycle hit the side of the delivery truck and Pupa was injured," police said.

He was taken to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, where he died Wednesday evening,.

The driver of the truck, Willie G. Burns, 58, of Tampa, has been charged with violating of right-of-way to a bicyclist, police said.

The Sarasota Ballet issued a news release describing Pupa, who had been with the company for two years, as "a talented dancer and a truly outstanding young man." “Our hearts are breaking, as our much-loved little angel, Pedro Pupa was taken so tragically from this world," said Margaret Barbieri, assistant director of the Sarasota Ballet. "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, Barbieri said. “Pedro was one of the nicest young men I have had the pleasure to know," said Mary Anne Servia, managing director of the Sarasota Ballet. "Always a smile; always a kind word. Pedro lived life to the fullest.” said Mary Anne Servian, Managing Director for The Sarasota Ballet.

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