The Bunbury community is mourning the death of a highly-regarded and well-known doctor - the fourth anaesthetist to be involved in a serious cycling accident in just over a month.
Dr Graham Dale was killed in a horrific crash when he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle on South Western Highway in Burekup on Tuesday.
The 68-year-old was riding with several other cyclists who were left in shock after witnessing their friend being struck by the car and killed instantly at the Russell Road intersection about 8.40am.
Dr Dale was a respected member of the Bunbury community and was given a special commendation for 30 years of service at the Rural Health West Doctors’ Service Awards in 2014.
After 31 years at Bunbury Hospital, Dr Dale retired in 2015 but took up part time work locally at St John of God Hospital.
His death comes after WA’s medical profession was left in shock last month when three anaesthetists received serious spinal or other injuries in separate cycling accidents over nine days.
Anaesthetist Andrew Miller, a former president of Australian Medical Association WA, said at the time those accidents had sent shock-waves throughout his tight-knit profession.
St John of God Hospital chief executive Mark Grime said Dr Dale would be “deeply missed”.
“We’re very saddened by the news,” Mr Grime said.
Dr Dale came to Bunbury in 1984 and was WA’s first specialist anaesthetist outside of the metropolitan area.
Major crash investigators are trying to piece together exactly what happened leading up to the tragic incident.
The driver of the car – a woman who was understood to be taking her daughter to school – was in shock and taken to hospital.
South West District Police Supt Mick Sutherland said that while accidents happened, it was crucial care was taken more than ever in the lead up to Christmas.
“That’s another person missing from the table this Christmas and we just need the message to get through – for all road users,” Supt Sutherland said.
Police are calling for anyone who saw the green 2003 Toyota Camry sedan - which was travelling southbound - or the group of cyclists prior to the crash to contact them.