Originally from Canada, Dr Ann Formaz-Preston was killed over the weekend when cycling with a group of friends on Mona Vale Road in Pymble. Her bike collided with a Toyota Corolla on Woodlands Avenue at approximately 10am and despite resuscitation efforts, died at the scene.
NSW Police has confirmed the 37-year-old male driver of the car underwent mandatory drug and alcohol testing following the accident but say they are still investigating.
Formaz-Preston, who was scheduled to being practising at Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital in the new year and had recently been accepted to train in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, was described by her partner Christopher Vanneste as his "best friend."
"She was placed at the SAN [Sydney Adventist Hospital] and often used her bike to get to the hospital from our apartment on the lower north shore," Vanneste said. "She was an avid cyclist and completed a full Ironman in Canada."
The couple moved to Australia six years ago so Formaz-Preston could begin medical school and were granted permanent residence in 2015. Vaneneste told Fairfax the couple were in the process of applying for citizenship at the time of the accident.
Following the accident, tributes for Formaz-Preston have begun flooding social media.
On Tuesday, the Centenary Institute - where Formaz-Preston previously worked as a research assistant - wrote on Facebook, "Ann will be remembered by everyone at the Centenary Institute for being one of the nicest people, always helpful, obliging, smart and someone whom one wanted to be around. Her positive nature was infectious, she gave off positive vibes to everyone who knew her. She will be sadly missed."
Professor John Watson of the Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School also wrote, "Ann was one of the nicest and smartest students I have had the pleasure to teach, and she was clearly destined for a great career in her adopted country. She had the intellect to accomplish whatever she wanted and an extraordinary personality that instantly won everyone over. She had a bright light about her and a very bubbly personality which would have helped her achieve anything. We have lost an incredible person. She will be missed by so many."
Andy Park shared a more personal story, writing, "A week before she fatally collided with a car on Sunday, Dr Ann Formaz-Preston helped save the lives of my wife and unborn daughter.
"My wife was 32 weeks pregnant when she was rushed into Royal North Shore Hospital with pre-eclampsia earlier this month," he wrote. "It meant that both mother and child would have to be carefully monitored until the baby showed signs of distress and they would carry out an emergency caesarean at the last possible moment. Dr Ann was the one who carried out that careful monitoring."
"Dr Ann was new to the RNSH maternity ward, which showed in the commitment and enthusiasm she gave to trying to balance the impossible choice between the welfare of mother and the welfare of baby," he wrote. "She would thoughtfully pause between observations, thinking deeply to make sure she had not forgotten any tiny indication of my wife’s worsening condition - swelling in her legs, tone of her skin, the reflexes in her knees, the heartbeat of our baby.
"The last time we saw her was when the baby had been safely delivered and she dropped by to ask us what we had called her," he wrote. "Dr Ann Formaz-Preston is one of the tireless, under appreciated warriors who bring life into this world in our public health system every single day and now she is gone."
Vanneste said, "Two people were involved in this crash, but hundreds of people will be affected by this accident. We need to change our language to 'people on bikes' and 'people in cars', rather than this war on cyclists vs drivers... Road users are people with families and friends who care about them.
"A little more care and patience will go a long way to decreasing these terrible road tragedies."