Cyclist killed in alleged hit and run

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A WOMAN has died after an alleged hit and run incident in Chelsea on 28 March.

50-year-old Chelsea triathlete Michelle Ruitenbeek was riding her bike along the Nepean Highway at around 5.40am when she was allegedly struck by a ute. She was taken to hospital but died two days later. 

Police allege that the driver of the ute fled the scene. 

Ms Ruitenbeek was a member of the Mornington Peninsula Triathlon Club. MPTC president Kirrily Guinan took to social media to pay tribute to a “beautiful human being”.

“It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we acknowledge the tragic passing of Michelle Ruitenbeek. Those blessed to know Michelle will be heartbroken as they reflect on the passing of a dear friend known for her energy, tenacity, enthusiasm and unwavering support of others within our community. Those not so close to Michelle will equally be devastated to learn of the passing of one of our own and the grief so many close to Michelle are feeling right now,” she said.

“Today, on behalf of the MPTC Committee, the MPTC membership group and the triathlon community more widely, we offer our heartfelt love to Michelle, her family and those closest to her. We cannot change the awful circumstances of Michelle’s death, but we can take this moment and amplify her life and her passing by supporting Michelle’s family in the days ahead, by supporting each other as we grieve, and by ensuring that this tragic accident informs the decisions we collectively make to safeguard ourselves and others on the road.”

A 28-year-old Parkdale man was arrested in Broadmeadows in relation to the alleged incident. His car was located in Seaford a little after 8am. He was charged with dangerous driving causing serious injury and failing to render assistance. Those charges are expected to be upgraded. 

The Parkdale man appeared in an out of session’s court hearing on 28 March. He was bailed to appear in Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 1 August.

First published in the Chelsea Mordialloc Mentone News – 3 April 2019

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