Cops: Medford woman hit, killed while biking
A Medford mother of two died after being hit by a minivan while riding her bike Saturday morning in Bellport, police said.
Felicia Ruperto, 52, of Apple Lane, was a gifted singer and professional photographer, said her husband of 22 years, Daniel Ruperto.
Besides being a mother to Victoria, 19, and Matthew, 14, she was studying art at Suffolk County Community College, he said.
Her most powerful attribute was her faith, Ruperto said, calling her the "spiritual head of our family."
He said the guilt she felt over having an abortion more than 20 years ago led her to become active in Project Rachel, a Catholic ministry where she counseled post-abortive women.
"There was a lot of healing," said Ruperto, 51. "She had a real gift and real passion for people who had experienced what she experienced."
He said his wife had recently been riding her bike more frequently as part of a new exercise routine. "This was her Saturday morning bike ride," he said. "She was literally on the last leg of her route on her way home."
Felicia Ruperto was riding her bike south on Station Road at 7:42 a.m. when she was struck by a 2003 Dodge Caravan also traveling south, according to a Suffolk police spokesman.
The impact knocked Ruperto onto a front lawn on Station Road. She was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The driver of the minivan, Faisal Imran, 23, of Astoria, was not injured in the crash. No charges had been filed, and police said the accident was not a hit and run.
Imran initially drove away after striking Ruperto but he circled the block and immediately returned to the scene, Det. Sgt. Timothy Gozaloff said.
The investigation is ongoing and detectives ask anyone with information about the crash to call the Fifth Squad at 631-854-8552.
Daniel Ruperto said he and his wife were scheduled to lead a worship service at Church on the Sound in Stony Brook Sunday. "She's been my partner and my best friend for 22 years," he said. "I can't even imagine right now what life is going to be like without her."