Dutch national Gitta Scheenhouwer was living the “Melbourne dream” when she was killed cycling.A Dutch cyclist killed in a hit run has been remembered as a “sweet, spontaneous, cheerful” young woman who had just landed her dream job in her adopted hometown of Melbourne.
Gitta Scheenhouwer, 27, was fatally run over by a stolen car while cycling in a Chapel Street bike lane at South Yarra on August 12.
In a statement released on Monday, her family spoke of their overwhelming grief.
“We can hardly put into words the deep pain and feelings of overwhelming sadness and sorrow at the loss of Gitta Scheenhouwer who was taken from all of us,” they said.
“She will always be in our hearts as the sweet, spontaneous, cheerful girl who was always busy with all of the things she wanted to do whilst smiling from ear to ear.”
Ms Scheenhouwer and her boyfriend Thomas had left the Netherlands to follow their longtime wish of living Down Under for a couple of years.
After studying and working hard, they arrived in May, visiting Sydney and Brisbane before settling in Melbourne.
Ms Scheenhouwer loved exploring on her new pushbike and was living the “Melbourne dream” with her boyfriend when she was killed.
“They were joyfully moving forward in life while relishing the journey, and were both using every minute to the max,” her family said.
“At first they explored the city as tourists, but after a while Melbourne was becoming their own and it started feeling like a home town.”
She found work a graduate architect within two months of arriving, which for her “was the best feeling in the world”.
“From then, it was time to focus and start working in the industry she loved,” her family said.
“What most others thought to be impossible and only dare to dream of, Gitta had succeeded.”
A memorial bike ride will be held to honour her life on August 28, stopping on the corner of Chapel Street and Grosvenor Street in South Yarra at 7.30am.
Police say the fatal crash occurred after a white Mercedes swerved into a bike lane.
Michael Panayides, 26, of no fixed address, is charged with culpable driving and failing to stop or render assistance. He will face court on December 4.
Australian Associated Press