Star Mackay athlete killed in cycling accident

7th December 2008 8:28 PM
Laura Pettifer, who died in a collision during a training ride at the weekend, with her Queen of the Mountain trophy, which she won in June this year. Laura Pettifer, who died in a collision during a training ride at the weekend, with her Queen of the Mountain trophy, which she won in June this year. CONTRIBUTED
LAURA Pettifer’s brilliant future as a runner and triathlete was cut short when she was tragically killed in a collision during a mountain training ride on Saturday morning.

The Mackay community, particularly runners and triathletes, were mourning Ms Pettifer’s loss yesterday.

She died at Mt Blackwood, north of Mackay.

A cycling race scheduled for yesterday morning was cancelled as a mark of respect to the woman who was the reigning Queen of the Mountain at Eungella.

Ms Pettifer was a talented road runner and swimmer who recently started cycling to prepare herself for a possible future as a triathlete.

Among her major victories this year was first in the Mackay Road Runners 8km cross country event in March in a time of 40 minutes, 38 seconds.

And, in her first attempt, she won the Queen of the Mountain crown at Eungella in June, covering 6.4km uphill in 38 minutes and 47 seconds.

After winning the Queen of the Mountain title she said: "It was good. I just cruised along and set my own pace. It was uphill all the way which made it kind of tough. But it was a fun morning."

Evan Corry, of Corry Cycles, said yesterday Ms Pettifer was "young and competitive and deeply loved".

"We are all very shocked by what has happened.

"Quite a few of us train on Mt Blackwood, usually of a morning.

"She went up the mountain with two other riders and crashed on the way down.

"She was training for triathlons and recently bought a cycle from me.

"She was hoping to get into ironman events.

"She used to go on a lot of runs, at least twice a week.

"She was very dedicated to her sport. She worked hard at it and even hoped to compete overseas in the future."

Ms Pettifer’s friends are already talking about organising a special competition event in her honour.

Mt Blackwood is just north of the Seaforth Road, at Kuttabul; on top of the mountain are Mackay’s major telecommunications towers including broadcasting stations for television channels.

The steep narrow road up the mountain is regarded as an ideal training spot for cyclists and endurance runners.

Police said Ms Pettifer was coming down about 7.30am on Saturday when she apparently lost control and collided with a utility.

Ambulance officers attempted to revive her at the scene but she died.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

Contact Us
1300 136 181
Monday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm AEST
Advertising Terms and Conditions