The family of a Las Vegas bicyclist who was killed after a minivan passenger reached out and pushed her over is speaking out.
On Sunday morning, the passenger in a passing vehicle reached out and struck a middle-aged woman riding a bicycle — a "senseless act" that police said resulted in not only the bicyclist's death, but also the death of the passenger.
"While driving down Hollywood Boulevard, they pulled alongside a female bicyclist and the passenger leaned out of the vehicle window and pushed her to the ground," a press release from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department obtained by PEOPLE said. "At the same time, the passenger fell out of the moving vehicle and struck a light pole."
Both were declared dead on the scene.
The woman was later identified as Michelle "Shelli" Weissman, 56, according to KLAS. Her husband Lonny Weissman told the outlet the situation was "something I could not imagine or dream up if I even took the hardest effort I possibly could."
Lonny said Michelle picked up bike-riding as a hobby during the coronavirus lockdown.
"She was a ray of sunshine," he said, adding, "What happened was a flat-out horrendous and unnecessary tragedy that was 100 percent avoidable."
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On Monday, police identified the van's driver as Rodrigo Cruz, 22. He allegedly "fled the scene before officers arrived and was later apprehended."
Cruz was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on one count of Open Murder, Duty to Stop at the Scene of an Accident, and for Violating the Conditions of his Parole, according to the press release.
Lt. Raymond Spencer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department told KSNV that calling the deaths "senseless" would be an "understatement."
"You have a woman who was out riding her bicycle and they pull up next to her and strike her, causing her to die," Spencer said in an interview with the news station.
"It's an absolute senseless act. There's no reason behind this that I can tell you why it occurred, other than complete stupidity."
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