Man hit Kiwi cyclist, then fled the scene, Australian court told

Matthew O'Connor is accused of killing cyclist Peter McGuffie, 54, in a hit and run in Melbourne.

Matthew O'Connor is accused of killing cyclist Peter McGuffie, 54, in a hit and run in Melbourne.

A Kiwi cyclist was wearing high-visibility clothing and riding in a Melbourne bike lane on a winter's afternoon when he was hit and killed by a driver who allegedly then removed his own clothing and fled, an Australian court has heard.

New Zealander Peter McGuffie, 54, died when hit from behind while riding along a street in West Footscray about 3.15pm on June 23.

McGuffie was wearing a fluorescent vest and kneepads and the visibility and road conditions were good, Melbourne Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday.

Police working at the scene where New Zealander Peter McGuffie died in June.
PENNY STEPHENS/FAIRFAX AUSTRALIA

Police working at the scene where New Zealander Peter McGuffie died in June.

"It was one of those situations where one could ask the rhetorical question 'how could you not see him'," prosecutor Sandra MacDougall told the court.

Police allege Matthew Terrance O'Connor, 27, was seen driving erratically before his ute hit McGuffie, and that a witness saw the accused man's ute veer into the bike lane.

O'Connor, who is charged with culpable driving causing death and the alternate dangerous driving causing death, as well as hit-run offences and breaching bail, applied for bail on Wednesday but was refused and remanded in custody.

MacDougall said that after the crash, O'Connor was seen removing his work overalls and was photographed by a witness leaving the scene.

Police allege he left his ute in a nearby street.

In refusing bail, magistrate Franz Holzer said O'Connor was driving while his licence was suspended and had accrued 28 demerit points.

Holzer rejected a defence submission that the risks O'Connor posed could be managed with tight bail conditions.

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"I am not persuaded O'Connor appreciates the risk he poses, both to himself and the public," the magistrate said.

The court heard O'Connor had a history of drug use.

But Detective Leading Senior Constable Tony Gentile said O'Connor was not drug-tested when arrested at his father's home the day after the crash, as the time that had elapsed rendered a test pointless.

Defence counsel Christopher Terry called on Holzer to consider the long delay O'Connor faced before a trial, as his committal hearing was not scheduled until June.

"He's now done five months and if that's not a wake-up call then I don't know what is," Terry said.

 - The Age

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