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Cyclist's death sparks action plea

Manawatu Standard: Cyclist’s death sparks action plea

Last updated 12:00 15/01/2010

Heartfelt tributes continue to flow through cyberspace for the German cyclist killed between Bulls and Lake Alice.

Nineteen-year-old Mia Pusch died last week on State Highway 3 after being struck by a truck. She was cycling around New Zealand alone.

Last week the Manawatu Standard revealed her writings on the dangers of New Zealand roads before the accident.

On Facebook, the Mia Pusch – New Zealand Cyclists Mourn You group yesterday had 185 members.

On the site, Ms Pusch’s mother Gesa wrote: "I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to your compassion to the loss of my daughter Mia ... if a new movement starts to make New Zealand roads safer to cyclists, even though my heart is broken and will always stay that way, at least there is a little comfort."

Many of Ms Pusch’s friends have commented on the site in German, while Palmerston North couple Daniel and Cara Lockwood wrote about meeting Ms Pusch six weeks before she died.

Speaking to the Standard, Mr Lockwood said he felt moved to post on the Facebook site after the Lockwoods helped Ms Pusch change a tyre on their front lawn.

The pair had noticed her struggling with the repair outside their house on Rangitikei Line.

Ms Pusch had said she was cycling about 60 kilometres every day.

"It was nice chatting to her. She sounded like a pretty cool person," Mr Lockwood said.

"She heard about New Zealand so she had to come and check it out."

A YouTube tribute to Ms Pusch posted on Monday shows photos of her set to the music of Pete Seeger’s song My Rainbow Race, including the refrain: "It’s too soon to die".

Police spokeswoman Kim Perks said the serious crash unit was still investigating. It surveyed the crash scene this week and will examine Ms Pusch’s bike during the next few days.

It would probably be two more weeks before police could say what caused the crash or whether any charges would be laid, she said.