Colleagues mourn well-loved friend killed in cycle accident

FLORENCE KERR
Last updated 05:00 09/07/2014

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The cyclist killed on her way to work has been described as much loved by a colleague.

Margaret Mary Pouw, 53, known as Maggie, was killed on Monday morning when she turned on to Matangi Rd off Morrinsville Rd and was struck by a courier van.

Pouw was on her way to her job as a caregiver at Atawhai Mercy Assisi Home and Hospital, which is on Matangi Rd.

Colleague Bruce Southcombe was devastated by her death and described the sombre feeling among staff at the hospital.

"They've all been pretty upset. They were all worked up when it happened that morning."

Southcombe said Pouw was a "pretty popular girl" who was "loved by all the staff.

"She was the kind of girl that while everyone was ready to leave at 3 [pm] she would stay behind until the job was finished. She will definitely leave a big hole in our team."

Pouw organised the annual bike-a-thon at the rest home and hospital, an event that Southcombe had entered in the past.

"She was a keen cyclist herself, you know, it's just very sad that she is gone."

Southcombe said Pouw was married and had adult children who lived in different parts of the world.

Pouw's Facebook page said she was originally from Ontario, Canada.

Southcombe said she had worked for Atawhai house for a number of years.

The district road policing manager, Inspector Freda Grace, said the crash that claimed Pouw's life was still under investigation and the cause was yet to be confirmed.

"Initial indications suggest the cyclist has been travelling north on Morrinsville Rd shortly before 7am and gone to turn right into Matangi Rd, directly into the path of an oncoming southbound courier van.

"At this stage speed and alcohol on the part of the van driver, who was shaken but unhurt in the crash, do not to appear to have been factors in what has occurred, and these and other matters will be confirmed as the crash investigation continues."

Grace said one thing that had been confirmed in the investigation was the need for all road users to ensure they, and what ever vehicle they were using, were fit for the road.

"Investigations such as this aren't about apportioning blame. They're about establishing cause so we can work at preventing a repeat of what happened.

"In this case the cyclist was wearing a cycle helmet, had hi-vis clothing on, and her bike was equipped with a light. As we've said, speed does not appear to have been a factor in what happened, so then we need to look at decisions that were made leading up to the crash."

Grace said decisionmaking became not just an issue in terms of the crash but also for other road users in and around the crash area as emergency services worked to clear the scene.

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"On two occasions, as cars came round a bend approaching the intersection, drivers braked suddenly and tried to do U- or three-point turns on the corner to try and avoid the cordons - putting themselves and potentially other drivers at risk.

- Waikato Times

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