Traverse City Record-Eagle

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July 6, 2013

Hit-and-run fatality similar to 2012 incident

TRAVERSE CITY — Authorities continued to search for a driver who plowed over and killed a Traverse City woman as she rode a bicycle on Washington Street, an incident eerily reminiscent of a hit-and-run collision that injured a bicyclist a year ago.

Kelly Ann Boyce, 29, was riding home Friday at about 1:50 a.m. in the 600 block of Washington Street when investigators believe someone who piloted a dark pickup truck or SUV struck her from behind. 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.

“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. 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.

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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