The cyclist who died in last week’s hit and run south of Red Deer touched many lives as a health care worker, a community theatre actor, avid cyclist and an active member of CrossRoads Church.
Heather Lawrence, 45, of Red Deer, died at the scene after she was struck just south of the traffic circle at 40th Avenue (RR 273) and McKenzie Road on July 6 at about 6:45 p.m.
Her brother Shane, of Edmonton, said family and friends were important to Heather.
“She definitely had a pretty wide circle of friends with all the different things that she was into,” said Shane about his sister who moved to Red Deer in 2004.
Heather worked as a physiotherapist with Alberta Health Services in Red Deer for 18 years, and spent most of her career at Children’s Rehabilitative Services helping her clients or “kiddos” as she called them.
“She worked very hard to make sure that her kids got exactly what they needed to make the progress that they needed to make.”
He said her church was important to Heather, and she participated in mission trips, including one to Uganda.
Another one of Heather’s passions was cycling.
“She was a very hardcore cyclist. She was actually training for a gran fondo happening Sept. 10.”
Shane said he got involved in road cycling at the same time as Heather.
“We actually did do a couple gran fondos together. She smoked me every time.”
But he said Heather wasn’t a competitive rider. She rode because she loved it, and participated in the local bike rides to raise money for the MS Society and Red Deer Regional Health Foundation.
One of her friends is organizing a memorial ride to honour Heather.
Shane said it’s been a few years since he has been a bike, but he plans to ride in the RBC GranFondo in Whistler in his sister’s place.
“I am determined to get back on a bike. I think I can handle a 55-km ride,” her brother said.
Dan Metzger, board vice-president of Central Alberta Theatre (CAT), said Heather was a very kind and talented performer who will be missed.
“With all the different people that I know within the theatre community, it’s been devastating. Like any group, we don’t want to lose one of our own, especially one that was so well respected,” Metzger said.
Heather was a member of CAT for about seven years, and was slated to perform in its upcoming season.
A service to celebrate Heather’s life will be held July 15 at 11 a.m. at CrossRoads Church. A viewing was to be held July 13 at Eventide Funeral Home from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Heather is survived by her parents Stuart and Marlene Lawrence; sister Amanda (John); brother Shane (Jeannette); nieces and nephews Emma, Ezra, Grace, and Fenwick; her family of close friends; and her schnauzer Pippin.
RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Troy Savinkoff said the vehicle involved in the collision has not been located, but people have been contacting police with possible tips through Crimestoppers.
“We have been following up with everyone. There have been a lot of tips. There has been a lot of interest from the public, and we’re really hoping that continues and that we’re able to solve this truly horrendous event,” Savinkoff said.
Witnesses say the suspect vehicle was described as an older model sedan, possibly a BMW, with market rims described as cheap looking. The vehicle was dark grey or black matte in colour, with a poor paint job, and would have significant front-end damage, specifically to the windshield.
Anyone with information, or knows who may have been driving the vehicle, is asked to contact Blackfalds RCMP at 403-885-3300. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.