Cycling surgeon killed

2011-09-26 00:00

A PROMINENT cardiologist in Pietermaritzburg was hit by a vehicle and killed while cycling on the R623 Mandeston road near Thornville on Saturday morning.

Dr Adrian Pearce (44), who practised at St Anne’s Hospital, was riding with a team from the Cycle Lab club when the accident happened.

The group had cycled from Pietermaritzburg and turned to return on the Richmond road.

His fellow cyclists had pulled ahead of Pearce when a motorist caught up with them and told them that one of their group had been in an accident.

Pieces of his bicycle were scattered all over the road and his body lay covered on the side of the road.

Paramedics declared him dead on the scene.

Yesterday police said they are still investigating and cannot say how the accident happened.

At the scene police officers who knew the doctor described his death as a loss not only for his family, but for the community at large.

Said a police officer, who asked not to be named, “My neighbour was a patient of Dr Pearce and he had just recently undergone a successful operation performed by Dr Pearce, who had to do heart valve surgery.”

He said he does not know how his neighbour will react to the news because he was an important figure in his neighbour’s life.

A fellow cyclist and a friend, Reeaz Paruk, described Pearce as a man with a heart of gold.

“We could not believe when we heard from a driver of a van that our friend had been knocked by a car … we had to turn and we were shocked to see our friend lying on the side of the road dead,” said Paruk.

He said of Pearce, “He was a loving father and a wonderful person and he will be missed by everyone who knew him because of his caring nature.”

Louis Joubert, manager at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital, told The Witness, “The death of Dr Pearce is a huge loss to the community of Pietermaritzburg. He was a highly rated cardiologist who recently relocated to Pietermaritzburg from Durban. He enjoyed road running and cycling and was a devoted family man. His tragic death will cause a huge vacuum in the hospital.”

Pearce matriculated at Little Flower School in Ixopo in 1984 and graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Witwatersrand in 1991. After completing his internship at Helen Joseph Hospital he obtained his Fellowship of the College of Physicians in cardiology in 2004.

His wife, Bernie, told The Witness Pearce took up cycling this year to cope with the stresses of his work.

The Pearces would have celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary yesterday. They have two daughters, Robyn (15) and Jamie (11).

The time and date of the funeral are yet to be announced.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Joey Jeevan said a case of culpable homicide is being investigated, and no arrests have been made.

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