Burry’s last seconds

2013-10-22 00:00

A WITNESS in the Burry Stander case yesterday recounted in chilling detail how he saw the renowned cyclist slide under a taxi after being knocked down, and how the rear wheel of the taxi went over him.

The state called witnesses to testify in the Burry Stander trial at the Port Shepstone Magistrate’s Court yesterday. Stander, a world-renowned mountain biker, was killed in Shelly Beach in January this year after slamming into a minibus taxi that had allegedly turned in front of him.

Dressed in brown pants, black canvas takkies and a red sweater, the accused Njabulo Nyawose (24) sat with bowed head in the dock as witnesses were questioned.

State prosecutor Christelle Rossouw first called Andries Josh Fourie to the stand. He testified he was travelling south in his car at the time of the accident and saw Stander slide under the left rear side of the taxi.

“The cyclist [Stander] had just ridden past me and five seconds later, I heard a bang. I looked into my rear-view mirror and saw the cyclist slide under the taxi. The left rear wheel went over him,” said Fourie. On hearing this, Stander’s mother Mandie, put her head down and visibly tried to hold back her tears.

The witness said he then made a U-turn and rushed over to Stander.

“I’m not a doctor, but there were no signs of life. He sustained bad head injuries,” he said. He testified Stander’s helmet came off his head and landed about 15 metres away from the scene.

He added that an ambulance arrived 25 minutes later, by which time he left.

During cross examination, Fourie told the accused’s attorney Xolile Nsthulana that the collision occurred “five to 10 seconds after the cyclist rode past” him.

Nsthulana said Fourie did not give a statement or his details to police at the time of the accident and left. Fourie responded that he had contacted his family members who came to the scene. He said he was too emotional to stay at the scene and had to leave. “I assume they [his family] must have told police officers after I left that I was one of the first people on scene,” he said.

Warrant Officer Hendrik Ludick of the SAPS K9 Unit in Port Shepstone, a member of the accident response unit and a vehicle examiner, said he had tested the minibus that Nyawose was driving and had found that it was in a roadworthy condition.

The trial continues today.

Stander’s wife Cherise Stander tweeted yesterday: “I am at peace knowing that God’s will will happen. No outcome will bring Burry back and only Jesus can decide on the driver’s fate”.

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