21 March 2024

'Excessive speed' blamed for death of tennis coach in Lady Denman Drive crash

| Claire Fenwicke
Alicia Celaya Jauregui

Alicia Celaya Jauregui moved to Canberra from the Gold Coast not long before she was killed in a crash on Lady Denman Drive. Photo: Facebook/Tennis Canberra.

Police say “excessive speed” appears to be the main factor in an accident that caused the death of Tennis Canberra coach Alicia Celaya Jauregui on Lady Denman Drive yesterday.

The 36-year-old was cycling city-bound on Lady Denman Drive at about 2:30 pm on Wednesday (20 March) when she was struck by a grey-coloured BMW sedan travelling in the opposite direction.

She was taken to hospital, where she later died.

ACT Road Policing Acting Inspector Travis Mills said while the investigation was in its early stages, officers were forming a picture of how the collision occurred.

“What I can say, however, is it appears excessive speed was a contributing factor in this road fatality,” he said.

“It appears that the vehicle has crossed onto the incorrect side of the road, into the path of the cyclist and, as a result, has collided with the cyclist.”

The 18-year-old driver of the vehicle, who holds a NSW provisional driver’s licence, has been cooperating with police.

While a separate cycle lane is present on the lake-side of the road, it was still Alicia’s legal right to cycle on the roadway.

“The cyclist was lawfully entitled to ride on the road surface, as she was doing,” Act Insp Mills said.

“The driver of the other vehicle … was driving in excess of the posted speed limit.

“If he were driving at the posted speed limit, I can imagine this collision would not have occurred.”

Act Insp Mills revealed the woman was an overseas national from Uruguay, who had moved to Canberra from Queensland.

“The cyclist had not long become a resident of the ACT.”

There’s no suggestion at this stage that any other vehicles were involved in the crash.

Police have already spoken with a number of witnesses, with anyone who may have further information or dashcam footage of the lead-up to the incident encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

A report is being prepared for the ACT Coroner.

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Tennis Canberra director Robbie Manzano took to social media to inform his community that Alicia had been killed.

“Alicia, she was our ball of energy, such a vibrant person,” he said.

“Alicia was loving her time here in Canberra … she was happy.”

He explained she had moved to Canberra from the Gold Coast by herself and had been forming strong relationships and a name for herself in Canberra’s tennis community.

Mr Manzano said a tribute gathering would be organised in the coming days.

“She’s left an imprint on all our lives,” he said.

“[For now] be good to each other, give your loved ones a hug, treat everyone with respect and … live each day to the fullest.”

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Advocacy group Pedal Power ACT shared its condolences for the friends and family of the woman.

“It is an absolutely tragic event,” executive director Simon Copland said.

While investigations are continuing and further details about what occurred are scant, Mr Copland said a number of members had written to him in the wake of the woman’s death expressing their concerns about the 70 km/h posted speed limit of Lady Denman Drive.

“We have already received feedback from our members and the community who have told us they feel that Lady Denman Drive, and the area around this intersection, are unsafe,” he said.

“Members have raised concerns about excessive speed along the road, and sadly, in this case it has allegedly caused someone’s death.

“Pedal Power will continue to advocate for safer, slower streets across all of Canberra.”

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