(File photo by Advocate staff)

(File photo by Advocate staff)

UPDATE: Red Deer cyclist dies in hit and run near city

RCMP ask for public’s assistance

Police are investigating a fatal hit and run after a cyclist was struck east of Gasoline Alley at about 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday.

Blackfalds RCMP said a 45-year-old Red Deer woman, who was declared dead at the scene, was hit just south of the traffic circle at 40th Avenue (RR 273) and McKenzie Road.

Both the vehicle and bike were southbound on 40th Avenue.

Cpl Gina Slaney, with Alberta RCMP Southern Alberta District, said there were a few witnesses who provided a detailed description of the vehicle and police released the information as soon as possible to the public.

“I’m very hopeful that we will find out who it was,” said Slaney about the driver.

RCMP continue to look for witnesses to the collision, specifically the driver and or occupants of a white coloured SUV that drove off the road to avoid a collision with the suspect vehicle near the scene.

“Immediately after the collision the vehicle was driving on the wrong side of the road and forced that white SUV off the road,” said Cpl. Troy Savinkoff, with Alberta RCMP Media Relations.

The suspect vehicle was described as an older model sedan, possibly a BMW, with market rims described as cheap looking. The vehicle was dark grey or black matte in colour, with a poor paint job, and would have significant front-end damage, specifically to the windshield.

Related:

Group to count cyclists and pedestrians in Red Deer for national survey

John Johnston, president of the Red Deer Association for Bicycle Commuting, was very troubled when he was told about the fatality.

“Oh my goodness. I really feel bad,” said Johnston, who was travelling and unaware of the collision.

“There are a lot of cyclists who do not feel safe cycling in Red Deer and so they think they’re safer to ride out in the country. But unfortunately, it often isn’t.”

It’s gorgeous countryside and the woman had every right to be riding her bike, he said.

“People have to be watching for cyclists. Cyclists have rights as well.”

He said rural roads often lack adequate shoulders. Red Deer County has talked about safety being a priority, but there hasn’t been enough action.

“In central Alberta, they’re not providing the kind of infrastructure they’re providing in other areas.”

Johnston said interest in cycling has really grown in recent years, not just in the Red Deer area, but everywhere.

Chris Black, construction manager with Red Deer County said: “The safety of all users of Red Deer County’s roads are a high priority to the county, and we make sure that all of our roads are constructed to meet the standards and guidelines with regards to safety.”

Anyone with information, or knows who may have been driving the vehicle, is asked to contact Blackfalds RCMP at 403-885-3300. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.



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