Jane Farrelly was killed while cycling with husband Ian and
friends. Photo / Supplied
A man watched in horror as his wife was knocked off her
bike and under a passing truck as they rode with friends.
Auckland mother-of-two Jane Farrelly, 50, died shortly after
the collision during what should have been a fun weekend away
Her death is the latest in a series of serious incidents
involving cyclists and drivers. Police said last night they
were interviewing witnesses before determining the cause of
Mrs Farrelly and husband Ian Farrelly were among a group of
experienced cyclists riding up a hill on 100km/h Poihipi Rd,
north of Taupo, when a truck and trailer unit carrying farm
implements came from behind.
Mrs Farrelly's sister Tina McCullough said yesterday about
seven of the group were in single-file bunches riding up the
"My brother-in-law was at the back of the second bunch. He
saw my sister get up out of her seat, which is what you do
when you go up a hill, and she must have sensed something
because he said she looked back and as she looked back she
wobbled very slightly. The driver hit her front wheel," Ms
"He [Mr Farrelly] saw it. Jane put up a huge fight, but
unfortunately lost her life."
The female riders of the group, who cycle with the Manukau
City Veterans Cycle Club, were supposed to be competing in
the Annies Girls on Bikes ride around Kinloch. When the race
was postponed on February 26 the group decided to travel to
"This was a weekend they had been really looking forward to,"
said Ms McCullough. "Ian said Jane was so happy. The sun was
They were having a beautiful ride. They were with good
friends and he said she just had everything to live for, and
it's all gone."
Mr Farrelly was last night consoling the couple's two sons,
Ben 19, and Nick 17.
The Farrellys, who were high school sweethearts and married
26 years ago, had only recently sold their business and Mrs
Farrelly worked in logistics at K-Mart."Obviously we're all
devastated. Jane was one of those people who was a huge
contributor," said Ms McCullough. "She was on her children's
school committees, board of trustees, chairwoman of the
Parents Centre in New Zealand."
Ms McCullough said her little sister, one of six siblings,
had been riding for five years. "She absolutely loved it. It
was an absolute passion of hers.
"I'm a cyclist. I was knocked off my bike twice last year."
Mrs Farrelly's death follows allegations of a road-rage
attack near the town in February. A dairy farmer has been
charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily
harm after, the police say, he got out of a ute, and chased
cyclist and Ironman New Zealand race entrant Alistair Slade.
Another Ironman entrant - Aucklander Glen Cornwell - needed
back surgery after his bike was hit from behind when he was
riding in the Waitakere ranges in January.
On average, around 10 cyclists were killed a year in crashes
with motor vehicles on public roads, the Ministry of
- Natalie Akoorie of the New Zealand Herald