Breaking News
More () »

'Every day I gave him a kiss': Tearful wife remembers husband struck by alleged DUI driver

Marten Bijvank was struck and killed by a car while riding his bike to work on Roswell Road.

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- Valentina Fiorillo was in tears as she left the first appearance of the woman accused of hitting her husband and killing him in an accident early Wednesday morning.

"He was just on his way to work, to support him, support me, support our dreams," she said. "And now he's gone." 

The young wife of 29-year-old Marten Bijvank described their last moments together as she grappled with the sudden loss of her husband. 

"He took his bike to the door. Every day I gave him a kiss," she said. "I said goodbye and I told him I would see him when I got home. And then I closed the door."

Authorities say Bijvank was struck and killed by 34-year-old Antoinette Battle as he rode his bicycle on Roswell Road. Battle was taken into custody and charged with a DUI and first-degree homicide by vehicle. She was also charged with driving without a license.

A judge denied bond for Battle after prosecutors cited a history of failures to appear, another DUI case and the severity of this crime.

As Fiorillo left the courtroom, Thursday, she recounted so many of the memories of her husband, who she described as sweet, kind and generous as tears welled up in her eyes.

"He cycled every day to work unless I could take him and pick him up," she said. "He only cycled a few times for a hobby on the weekends maybe a couple of times every other month or so."

She said he loved riding his bike when he could.

"It was just never safe because we lived in such a busy place with no bike paths and he didn't really feel comfortable doing it," she said. "He was just on his way to work."

She said they had already planned out major parts of their lives before the tragedy struck.

"I'm almost done with school, I have two more years left and the idea was ... he would wait for me and we would back to the Netherlands and start a family," Fiorillo said. "His family is there - and just be happy together."

Fiorillo said Battle didn't speak to her after the first appearance. However, she said the family did.

"They were very kind. They seemed like they were good people," she said. "I'm so sad for everyone because they lost someone, too. We all lost someone."


9-year-old boy pulled from Lake Lanier dies

Suspect screaming 'You die!' kills up to 23 at anime studio

Her body was found near the Chattahoochee River. We don't know her name.

Atlanta is nation’s fourth-fastest gentrifying city, study says

TBI issues Endangered Child Alert for missing Putnam County toddler

Paid Advertisement