Speed may have been factor in fatal cycle crash

By Sandra Conchie

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A 50-year-old male cyclist was killed after being hit by a car near Pyes Pa on Sunday afternoon. He has been named as David Peter Armstrong from Bethlehem.

Mr Armstrong and his wife were cycling on the Pyes Pa bypass section of Takitimu Drive (State Highway 36) when he was struck about 12pm.

Mr Armstrong's wife was taken to Tauranga Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

It is understood she was not hit by the car.

She was treated and discharged about 2pm.

Police Communications Inspector Peter Raynes said a 111 call came in at 12.03pm.

Road diversions were in place between Kennedy and Pyes Pa Rd for several hours.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

The driver of the car was fully co-operating with the police investigation, Mr Raynes said.

Tauranga Senior Sergeant Rob Glencross said the serious crash team was investigating but an initial assessment indicated speed and manner of driving were factors in the crash.

Weather and road conditions did not appear to have played a part in the crash, he said.

Family members out of Tauranga were yet to be notified.

Police are still investigating the exact cause of the crash and no further comments about the matter would be made at this stage of the inquiry.

Cycle Action Tauranga secretary Phil Browne said the highway was a busy road and many cyclists in the area tended to avoid it for that reason.

However, a number of people used it regularly and it was also a route many touring cyclists used.

"It can be a very congested and dangerous road, but there are reasonable shoulders on each side of the road big enough for cyclists."

Mr Browne said the accident was a tragic reminder to be careful.

"The worst part of cycling is that you can't control what's going on behind you," he said.

"[Cyclists] really appreciate it when drivers give about a metre or so space when they pass.

"But those drivers who feel they're too good and pass quite close - it can be very scary for a cyclist."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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