Vancouver police are investigating the death of a 42-year-old woman, who was riding a bicycle along the sidewalk on W. 12th Avenue when she fell into traffic and was struck by an SUV.

The tragedy unfolded Monday afternoon shortly before 2 p.m. PT between Alder and Spruce streets, as the cyclist was making her way along the south side of the busy traffic corridor.

W. 12th Ave at Spruce

Police say she somehow fell into the roadway, and was struck by an SUV that was travelling east in the curb lane.

Witnesses said the cyclist appeared to have a head injury and wasn't moving. Denise Quesnel, who lives nearby, saw responders tending to the woman on the road.

"I just saw her on the side. A paramedic was, like, holding her neck," she said.

The woman died in hospital.

Police say the 32-year-old woman who was driving the SUV in Monday's incident was shaken, but unhurt. She is co-operating with investigators, who are also asking anyone who observed the cyclist before the collision to contact them.

The death was similar to another fatal accident on the Stanley Park Causeway accident in May, in which a 61-year-old woman fell off the sidewalk and into the path of a transit bus while riding her bike.

That accident spurred cycling advocates to petition for safety improvements to the raised sidewalk, which is a designated shared pathway for cyclists and pedestrians.

With files from the CBC's Chad Pawson