Cyclist makes fatal mistake

2011-02-06 22:53
Pietermaritzburg - A teenage cyclist was killed in a freak accident while taking part in the Lassen Road Cycle Race near Camperdown on Sunday when he was run over by a construction truck.

Michael Ramsey, 14, died when his bicycle slipped on an uneven surface while he was trying to avoid a construction vehicle behind him and fell on the road.

The truck drove over him, causing massive head injuries.

Attempts to get more information by The Witness about the teenage cyclist were unsuccessful.

His mother, Cynthia Ramsey, who was still devastated by the accident, declined to comment.

KwaZulu-Natal department of transport spokesperson Zinhle Mngomezulu said: “The organisers had their own marshals and they did not invite RTI (Road Traffic Inspectorate) to monitor the traffic during the race.”

She said this was becoming a big problem because in October last year a cyclist had been killed during an event at the Midmar Dam in Howick.

Knocked her down

Alice Knight, 54, from the Durban area was struck by a car which had cut in front of her on the R103 while competing in the Time Freight Midmar Notts Road Race in October.

She died after being struck by a car which had cut in front of her on the R103 at the entrance to the dam, knocking her down with “extensive force”, said Mngomezulu.

“Organisers of races are urged to invite us when conducting such races because RTI has trained personnel who can do this kind of work instead of getting their own marshals. Our job is to help save lives on the road”, added Mngomezulu.

Cycling KZN president Mike Bradely said he had only recently become president, but one of his goals for this year is to engage with various departments to come up with a solution to curb instances like this from occurring.

“Thus far we are not allowed to have full road closures when hosting these races which is a big problem because cycling is only done on public roads unlike soccer or rugby which has safer environments in which to perform,” said Bradely.

He said another problem with getting RTI on board during such races is that they charge organisers exorbitant amounts of money just to control the traffic while the race is on.

Bradely said, “If we are to host the 2020 Olympics in Durban, the provincial government should start taking cycling seriously because it has a great number of participants.

"When hosting a cycling event the government needs to allow cyclist to have full road closures to prevent freak accidents like this one from occurring.”

“Even though I do not have details of what happened to the young cyclist, I would like to offer my condolences to his mother and his entire family for the loss of their son,” added Bradely.
 
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