Racing cyclist killed

2011-02-07 00:00

A TEENAGE cyclist was yesterday run over by a construction truck in a freak accident during the Lassen Road Cycle Race. He died instantly.

Michael Ramsey (14) of Cowies Hill, Durban, was trying to avoid a construction vehicle that was behind him when his bicycle slipped on the uneven road surface, causing him to fall in front of the truck. The vehicle struck him, causing massive head injuries.

The accident happened on the R103 near Camperdown.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said police are investigating a case of culpable homicide.

The Witness tried in vain to get more information about the teenage cyclist.

His mother, Cynthia Ramsey, was said to be devastated by the accident and 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 added that the lack of monitoring is becoming a big problem because last year a cyclist was killed during a similar event, also on the R103, near Midmar Dam in Howick.

Alice Knight (54), also of the Durban area, was struck by a car while competing in the Time Freight Midmar Notts Road Race in October. She sustained multiple injuries when she was struck by a Toyota Avanza which cut in front of her at the entrance to the dam.

Mngomezulu said, “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 because our job is to help save lives on the road.”

Cycling KZN president Mike Bradley said he had only recently become president, but one of his goals this year is to engage with various departments to come up with a solution to curb tragic 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 … soccer or rugby have safer environments in which to perform,” said Bradley.

He said another problem with getting the RTI on board during such races is that they charge organisers “exorbitant” fees to control the traffic while the race is on.

Bradley 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 cyclists 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,” said Bradley.

The event was sponsored by Cycling KZN in partnership with Mr Price Cycling Club.


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