Olympic Cyclist Dies After Being Hit By Car, Husband Reportedly Arrested

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Melissa Hoskins, an Australian Olympian and world championship-winning cyclist, has died. She was 32.

In a statement on Sunday, South Australia Police said a woman had died after she was struck by a car in an inner suburb of the city of Adelaide on Saturday night. She suffered serious injuries and died in a hospital overnight.

Police said the driver, a 33-year-old man, was known to the woman, and was arrested and charged with causing her death by dangerous driving, driving without due care and endangering life. He was bailed and is scheduled to appear in court on March 13.

Local media named Hoskins as the woman, and it was widely reported that her husband, fellow pro cyclist Rohan Dennis, was the man arrested.

Reached for comment, a South Australia Police spokesperson told HuffPost it is policy not to name those involved in an incident due to local privacy laws.

Hoskins was allegedly hit by a pickup truck driven by Dennis near their Adelaide home, Australia’s public broadcaster, ABC News, reported.

Hoskins’ parents, Peter and Amanda, and sister, Jess, issued a joint statement on Tuesday via AusCycling.

“Words cannot convey our grief, sadness and the tragic circumstances of Melissa’s passing. Myself, Amanda, Jess and families, are utterly devastated and still struggling to process what has happened,” the statement said.

“Not only have we lost a daughter and sister, her children have lost their mum, a freewheeling spirit, a giver with a big heart, patience and zest for life.”

“She was the rock of their life and ours and we need to honour her memory so they can grow up knowing who she was, what she stood for and what she gave to everyone whose life she touched,” it continued.

The funeral will be held in Hoskins’ hometown, Perth, and a memorial service will take place in Adelaide after this month’s Tour Down Under event.

The family has requested privacy as they grieve.

Melissa Hoskins celebrates after winning the Women's team pursuit finals at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris, in 2015.
Melissa Hoskins celebrates after winning the Women’s team pursuit finals at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris, in 2015.

ERIC FEFERBERG via Getty Images

Hoskins competed in team pursuit at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Her team won gold in the team pursuit at the 2015 world championships in France.

Dennis was part of the Australian team that won silver in the team pursuit at the London 2012 Olympics. He won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Hoskins had retired from pro cycling in 2017; Dennis retired earlier this year.

Tributes flowed from members of the cycling community around the world.

The Australian Olympic Committee expressed “the utmost sadness” over the news.

“Our condolences go to Melissa’s family, friends and the cycling community at this extremely difficult time,” it said.

“I have a very heavy heart. My thoughts are with their children, family and fellow friends. This is a very difficult and tragic time. RIP,” wrote Australian Olympic cyclist Anna Meares.

Annette Edmonson, another champion cyclist from Australia, said that “the world has lost one of its shining stars this weekend.”

“A fun, loving, hilarious person, who was so talented in so many areas. A force to be reckoned with, she took the track and road cycling world by storm, before pursuing her next dream, starting a family and becoming the ultimate Mum,” she wrote.

“You drove me to become a better athlete,” she added. “We were so competitive on the track and road, but when we came together in the team time trial and team pursuit, we were one.”

Edmonson competed with Hoskins in the team that won the world championships in 2015, and she remembered it as “one of the best days of my life.”

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