'I didn't see her': Cyclist killed after computer technician's 'lapse in concentration'


Mohamed Abbasher Fageer was driving to work on a dull and drizzling Sunday morning last December when a single lapse of concentration changed his life and many others, and ended that of a young doctor returning from her morning bike ride.

One minute he was rounding the corner from Mona Vale Road into Woodlands Avenue in Pymble, then there was a loud bang, and the next moment he was outside his car and hysterical.

"I didn't see her," he cried.

Ann Formaz-Preston was lifeless on the road.

Fageer had cut her off as she coasted down the hill towards him on Mona Vale Road and she had slammed into the passenger side of his car, according to an agreed set of facts tendered to the Downing Centre Local Court.

The impact cut open her neck and caused lacerations to her chest, eye and both legs. By the time an ambulance arrived, she was dead.

Fageer, 38, pleaded guilty to negligent driving occasioning death and was sentenced to 300 hours community service on Tuesday.

He was disqualified from driving for two years.

But Dr Formaz-Preston's partner Christopher Vanneste said there were no winners from the proceedings, with his own life as well as that of Fageer left in ruins.

Dr Formaz-Preston, 33, had been returning from a training ride with a friend who was to compete in her first ironman challenge, having already competed in such an event in her native country of Canada.

In her professional life, she had just completed medical school and was about to start training as an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Royal North Shore Hospital.

"She was a genuinely inspiring person, always hard working, always striving to do something more," Mr Vanneste said.

"It was exhausting being her partner because she was always working.

"I don't think there's any sentence that could compensate for the death of anyone, especially someone as great as Ann was."

But he said she would have approved of the community service sentence handed to Fageer.

"We're not the only victims. He's suffered a tragic event as well," he said.

"This is one step in the process but there's still a lot more to go through for myself, for Ann's family and his family."

According to court documents, the accident occurred about 10am on December 18, 2016, as Fageer was on his way to work as a computer technician and Dr Formaz-Preston was returning from a ride from Neutral Bay to Akuna Bay.

She had been wearing a red and white shirt and black pants, described by a witness as dark colours, and did not have a light on her bike.

Fageer waited about five seconds in the right-hand turning bay on Mona Vale Road and could see the traffic coming towards him, when he accelerated through the turn at about 20 to 30km/h, directly across the path of Dr Formaz-Preston.

This story 'I didn't see her': Cyclist killed after computer technician's 'lapse in concentration' first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.