Community mourns tragic death of cyclist

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Brendan Rees

A female cyclist has died in the CBD after being hit by a truck in May, devastating the community.

Police said a truck and a cyclist collided at the intersection of La Trobe and King streets at around 5.10pm on May 17.

The cyclist died at the scene.

The driver of the truck stopped at the scene and has since assisted police with their enquiries.

Police swarmed the scene and cordoned off the area surrounding the collision.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched online with all donations going towards the victim’s family.

The fundraiser’s organiser Michael Hossen said following a huge amount of support on social media for the victim, Yukako, he felt the need to help.

“I have spoken directly with Yukako’s family, and all donated funds will go directly to them,” he wrote.

“Yukako’s family have arrived in Australia, and I will meet with them this weekend. I will ensure all funds go to the family to use for the memorial.”   

“Thankfully, respective governments are assisting with costs, so donated funds can help with any small expenses the family may have.”

City of Melbourne councillor Rohan Leppert spoke of his devastation following the incident, saying it was an “appalling tragedy.”

“This is what I lose sleep over,” he wrote on The Greens party website.

“We don’t have many details on the collision … what we do know is that this is an appalling tragedy, no matter the causes. For the cyclist, her loved ones, and for the truck driver, who will remember this moment forever.”

“As a cyclist, as a planner who knows how much safer the city could be, and as a decision-maker who shares responsibility on Melbourne City Council, every cyclist death and injury tears me apart.”

Cr Leppert said cyclist hospitalisations took a huge dive during lockdowns but were back on the rise as traffic returned to pre-COVID levels.

“Most incidents, but not all, could have been reduced in severity or avoided with safer infrastructure,” he said in reference to separated bike lanes.

He said the news of the fatal collision broke as the City of Melbourne handed down its 2022-23 budget, which “if ever there was a stark reminder that compassion counts for nothing if nothing changes, and that government’s budget decisions are the only real measure of its priorities, this was it.”

“We know that we are global laggards when it comes to safe cycling infrastructure, and that we can do better.”

The City of Melbourne budgeted a record $16 million on the protected bike lanes in 2020-21, with the 2022-23 draft budget proposing to spend $18.2 million on bicycle related works over the next four years.

Police have appealed for witnesses following the incident with anyone with dashcam footage or information to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 •

To donate to the GoFundMe visit: gofundme.com/f/her-name-was-yukako

 

Captions: Police at the scene of the collision. Picture: Nine News.

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