Search On for Hit and Run Driver in Michigan

A driver who hit and fatally killed a 29-year-old female cyclist on Thursday, then fled the scene, is being sought by authorities in Michigan.

Kelly Ann Boyce, 29, was riding home Friday at about 1:50 a.m. in the 600 block of Washington

Kelly Ann Boyce, 29, before she was fatally struck by a hit and run driver in Traverse City, MI, Thursday, July 4, 2013.

Street when investigators believe someone who piloted a dark pickup truck or SUV struck her from behind, reported Matt Troutman at the Record-Eagle.

Troutman continued:

Traverse City Police Capt. Brian Heffner said detectives are seeking the public’s help in tracking down the driver.

“Somebody knows who this is,” he said.

Heffner said Boyce died from traumatic injuries early Friday in Munson Medical Center.
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“We lost a perfect soul today,” said her husband Paul Hurlbert, fighting back tears.

Hurlbert said Boyce was riding her bicycle home after a double shift at North Peak Brewing Company. She briefly stopped by Kilkenny’s to see Hurlbert’s band play and was within sight of their residence in the 700 block of Washington Street when the vehicle struck her.

“We both ride our bikes every day. That’s why we live in town,” he said. “She’s always very cautious.”

Boyce, who is originally from Benzie County, was set to celebrate her one-year wedding anniversary next week. Boyce’s friend Sharon Hults said she enjoyed music, dancing and company.

“Honestly, the thing she loved the most in life was Paulie,” she said.

Accident investigators believe Boyce was riding east on the south side of the Washington Street, within 12 inches of the curb when the vehicle — traveling in the same direction — struck her.

“Horrifying and truly disgusting,” wrote Dennis Bean-Larson who first reported the incident to Cyclists International, and shared the original story.
“I regret having to pass this along Jen, but these have to be reported and distributed if there is ever to be any change in enforcement and prosecution of motor vehicle operators,” wrote Bean-Larson yesterday.
Bean-Larson owns two bicycle-centric business in Traverse City, MI, a bike shop and online store, and a sports food company called ERG-bar.
“She was thrown from the bicycle, became entangled with the vehicle and was dragged for more than a block to an alleyway on Railroad Street,” continued the report from the Record-Eagle.

Heffner said investigators could not discount similarities with a late June 2012 incident in which a dark vehicle struck a pregnant bicyclist on Ninth Street and broke her leg. The victim in that case told the Record-Eagle she believed the vehicle intentionally struck her.

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  • Jennifer Benepe

    thanks !

  • baltimoron
  • fixedgearwizard

    $10,000 reward. Please help and forward this. Someone has knowledge that could help apprehend the person who is responsible. Even if you think you might know something, or noticed a neighbor’s, friend’s, or co-worker’s damaged vehicle, please call detectives at 231-947-8477 or anonymous tip line at 231-947-8477. Friends of Quarter After Entertainment, LLC is offering $ 10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

  • lfvillarosa

    This is just awful,Jen. I cannot fathom how her husband must feel. To lose the love of your life! I suspect alcohol again.I’ll say a prayer for him tonight. You do too.

    • admin

      Yes, I agree. Actually a new report came out recently that said driver error is a greater factor in road fatalities than drunkenness. Distraction has now become a huge issue as well. What’s important is that this driver has just killed someone, and apparently, doesn’t care.

      • lfvillarosa

        Yes, distraction has become a major issue. But in this case because of the time of the incident and that she was dragged for a block, the driver must have been drunk. Distraction in the form of texting and just talking on the phone is now responsible for many accidents. What has happened is the operation of the vehicle has become secondary to whatever else the driver is doing. My mother would always get on me if I did not have both hands on the steering wheel when driving. You can’t take driving and serious cycling casually. You should be totally focused on what is front of you. An example , on Friday’s ride I got in the tuck position to stretch out my back. The road had been recently paved with a layer of asphalt where there was a small seam running down the middle where the sections met. As I got into the tuck position I veered ever so slightly to the middle(it’s a very narrow road) and my front wheel caught the seam. The wheel twisted a bit momentarily. Fortunately I had both hands firmly on the grips and I kept the bike under control even though I was in the tuck position. Perhaps the bike would have gotten through anyway since this was a very shallow seam. But everything has become amplified since I crashed. But that’s a good thing. The point here is as you told me a while back you must maintain total focus. It only takes but a split second to get in trouble.