THE grieving wife of a Lowood man has appealed for witnesses to come forward after he was killed doing the sport he loved in a hit and run near Goondiwindi.
Sandy Vigar held a press conference at Lowood police station yesterday, clutching a photo of her husband Dr Martin Pearson, who was hit and killed by a car while cycling at Inglewood between 2.30pm and 3.30pm on Friday (Anzac Day).
Dr Pearson was a distinguished associate professor of Veterinary Anaesthesia at the University of Queensland Gatton Campus and an experienced cyclist who had done numerous international long-distance rides.
The 61-year-old father-of-two was competing and part organiser of the nine-day Audax Queensland GT series, a 600km bike ride from Tenterfield to Lowood via Dalby.
Ms Vigar was following him in a support car and last saw her husband an hour before the fatal collision at the ride checkpoint in Inglewood and said the road was flat and wide with fine conditions at the time Dr Pearson was struck by the vehicle.
She called for anyone who has seen a damaged vehicle in the Inglewood area on Friday afternoon to come forward.
"If you were on Inglewood-Millmerran Rd last Friday afternoon and saw Martin riding alone in a bright yellow jersey, or if you saw a damaged vehicle heading towards Millmerran at that time or have seen a recently damaged vehicle that may have been in the Inglewood-Millmerran area on Anzac afternoon, please let the Queensland police know," she said.
"I would say to the driver please come forward. I can't imagine that anyone could live with this indefinitely," she said.
Ms Vigar has been overwhelmed by the hundreds of tributes coming the cycling and veterinary communities.
"I've had hundreds of emails and messages since people have heard about it," she said.
"And what keeps coming through is that people keep saying he was a gentleman and a gentle man.
"He was quiet and always willing to help and share his knowledge, whether that was to do with cycling or to do with his profession as a veterinarian anaesthetist."
She said Martin would be remembered because of the great effect he had on many people, with students he taught 20 years ago telling stories about how he changed their lives.
"Similarly, I've had emails from cyclists from all over the world, saying that they rode with Martin," she said.
The Disaster Animal Response Team Australia were among many to pay tribute.
"This man dedicated his life to the betterment of animal health and of our wellbeing as a result. Martin's veterinary work in anaesthetics, critical care & pain management have helped so many animals and will continue to help animals for a long time to come. His work helped elevate the culture of compassion for animals," they said.
Audax Australia president Peter Mathews called him a "quintessential randonneur (long-distance cyclist)".
"Our hearts go out to Martin's wife Sandy Vigar and their family," Mr Mathews said.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333000 or Crimestoppers 24 hours a day.
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