Olympic cyclist dies after being hit by car, husband charged: reports

FILE - Melissa Hoskins (L) and Dennis Rohan (R) are seen in photos from separate cycling events. Getty Images

Melissa Hoskins, an Australian Olympic track cyclist and former world champion, died after she was hit by a vehicle while out for a ride over the weekend, and now her husband has reportedly been charged in her death.

A statement by the South Australian Police Sunday said that a 32-year-old woman died in an Adelaide hospital after she was struck by a vehicle being driven by a man “known to the woman” on Saturday.

While police did not identify Hoskins by name, local media reported her as the victim.

Now, Australian’s national broadcaster ABC, as well as other local outlets, are reporting that her husband Rohan Dennis, a two-time world time trial champion and stage winner at the Tour de France, has been arrested and charged with her death.

FILE – Australia’s Rohan Dennis celebrates winning gold with his wife Melissa Hoskins and their son during the Men’s Elite Individual Time Trials from Northallerton to Harrogate. Tim Goode / PA Images via Getty Images

Those reports say that Dennis has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, endangering life and driving without due care. He has been released on bail to appear at the Adelaide Magistrates Court in March.

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Hoskins was allegedly hit by a pickup truck driven by Dennis near their Adelaide home, ABC reported.

A police spokesperson told Reuters that its policy is to not confirm the names of those involved in an incident.

According to CNN, the cyclists were both retired. They married in February 2018 and had two children.

Hoskins competed for Australia at the London and Rio de Janeiro Olympics in the team pursuit and was in the squad that won the 2015 title in the event.

FILE – Melissa Hoskins of Western Australia competes in the Women’s 25km Points Race during the 2015 National Track Cycling Championships at DISC Velodrome on Jan. 30, 2015, in Melbourne, Australia. Daniel Smith / Getty Images

“Melissa described her team pursuit gold medal at the 2015 world championships as the highlight of her career but for the rest of us, the highlight was just having her around,” AusCyling chief executive Marne Fechner said in a statement Monday after her death, per the Associated Press.

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“Although she retired in 2017, her presence as an alumnus of the sport has been felt and appreciated by many in the cycling and riding community.”

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.

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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.

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