Dead skateboarder 'still a beginner'

2012-03-20 09:05

Cape Town - A Gauteng man's longboard ride down the Franschhoek Pass ended tragically on Monday when he went under an oncoming truck and was killed.

Carlito Trancoso, 29, from Randburg was declared dead on the scene. He had been on a fun ride with a few friends.

Trancoso was in Cape Town for the weekend to take part in the Fair Cape Downhill Challenge on his longboard - an extra-long skateboard.

Serious injuries

ER24 spokesperson André Visser said Trancoso sustained serious chest, head and abdominal injuries.

The incident happened at about 13:50 near the Carmel campsite on the R45 in the Franschhoek Pass.

“Our paramedics found him on the ground next to the road. They think he was going about 50km/h when he hit the truck. It didn’t look good.”

According to the group of men with him at the time, the truck drove over Trancoso.

Stellenbosch traffic department’s Superintendent Lizelle Stroebel said Trancoso was going in the direction of Villiersdorp and the truck was heading for Franschhoek.

"He hit the oncoming truck as he came around a bend.”


Trancoso’s friends told Franschhoek police officials that he was still a beginner in the sport.

One of the group was apparently driving in front and warned the guys behind him that a truck was coming and they should decrease speed or move to another lane.

“They probably didn’t hear him,” said Stroebel.

Trancoso was identified by his uncle on Monday night.

Justin Boast, chairperson of the South African Gravity Racing Association, said they regularly held downhill competitions in closed lanes because they were aware of the dangers of the sport.

- Were you there or have you taken part in this activity? Send us your story.

  • procold2 - 2012-03-20 09:19

    tragic, but also a sport that should be practiced in contolled conditions not while other vehicles are on the road.

  • Johnnie - 2012-03-20 09:33

    Ban this nonsense immediately, if not sooner.This time it was the boarder,next time it might be some innocent person.This should never have been a sport and the person who started it should do some serious thinking.

      Kit - 2012-03-20 10:48

      Lighten up man, why condemn the sport (and it is a sport) because of one irresponsible individual. You are obviously uninformed, downhill skateboarding was born in the 1970's! We feel for his family and friends.

      Gerhard - 2012-03-20 12:03

      Oh get back into the cage at the old age home you old fart!

      reasons101 - 2012-03-20 15:33

      You don't ban a sport because someone decides not to practice it in a controlled environment. Accidents happen, you can't condemn the entire sport cause of one unfortunate incident.

      Henry - 2012-03-20 16:05

      Once youve been on a board and have experienced the rush and thrill you receive from it, you will understand. please stop judging something that makes others happy. The vehicles that should be banned on franscchoek are trucks, they have no regard for others on the road and often give a little hoot before a corner and think that it gives them the right to cut the corner. Also, i have been in a car in three seperate instances where we have had to swerve to miss a truck on the pass, and furthermore, trucks have caused a total of 27 deaths of innocent drivers from failed brakes and overturning on francchoek pass. so please think of it from our point of veiw before posting your comments, thank you. Henry Muller

      Vaughn - 2012-03-21 09:43

      Before you make a statement like that be sure of all your facts and do some serious thinking your self. Nothing worth while comes with out risk. It is a relativity dangerous sport, but the longboarding community puts emphasis of safety. Longboarding is not just a bunch of washed out kids that sit and do drugs, as the stereotype suggests. On the contrary, Serious longboarders are brilliant athletes, and it keeps the youth from doing drugs! Life is not what is was 30 years ago, the new generation is here and life is different! This is our time! To quote Mr. Bob Dylan: "Don't cystitis what you can't understand.... You better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, because the times they are changing" So please before you make a comment like that be sure of all your facts and don't judge a book by its cover

  • Makatikamusona - 2012-03-20 09:36

    Lets his friends produce the video as I believe they have obviously taken one, probably for posting to YouTube. These should serve as a lesson for all the youth engaged in dangerous sport, especially if is not paying anything but you still run the risk of loosing your life

      Quincy - 2012-03-20 11:05

      ya obviously they recorded and uploaded a vid of their friend in a fatal accident. It was all planned before

      Vaughn - 2012-03-21 16:41

      Have some respect. He was a person, not just some inanimate object! What if he was one of your loved ones? Would you appreciate it if someone put the video on the web, so the whole world can see how he died? Think before you speak!!

      Gerhard - 2012-03-22 09:54

      Makatika you will "loose" your life with such a self-righteous, downright pathetic attitude. Go read a book about birds and play some badminton, like Ayn Rand's Second Handers, and keep your literary vomit to yourself. I realise I am brash and offensive, but the video comment is just downright shameful.

      Chantelle Alice Bezuidenhout - 2013-12-17 18:53

      Hi Christopher, I am the skateboarders sister. have some respect, if you were in my position How would u feel.. and if there were a video why would we want his death posted all over the net..

  • Erika - 2012-03-20 09:41

    We once came via Franschhoek pass, and passed a group of this skaters on their way down. Also just a bit further up from this Carmel campsite turn-off. I almost had a heart attack from fright. They were in the opposite lane from us, but what if one vehicle overtakes another (which is not impossible in the pass and actually often happens because of slow trucks etc). What about traffic coming from behind? It was a regular day, with no traffic control or lanes closed etc. It is very reckless of them doing this. They do not only gamble with their own lives but put other lives in danger too. Crazy!

      Kit - 2012-03-20 10:54

      I have travelled down this pass when motorbikers came screaming past me on a bend, missing the front of my vehicle by millimeters. There was a recent accident and the motorcyclist was killed. This is a regular occurance, especially on Sundays. Who control these people?

      Craig - 2012-03-20 22:17

      I get the feeling people think when they see us rolling down hills that we are blindly out of control. What do we do when a vehicle overtakes another? We do the same thing an unseen cyclist would do in such a situation: slow down, keep left, etc. If a car comes from behind, ditto, we keep to the left. Someone here said something about our limited brakes and steering - that is not quite correct. Our steering is more efficient than any car or bike. Our brakes admittedly depend on our skill levels. Some of us can slow down as efficiently as a bike, others less so. Different skaters come with different levels of commitment to skating responsibly. That is so just like other road users - some drive drunk, some cycle abreast on blind turns, some go too fast. When I skate, I keep to quiet roads, roads with turns that I can manage with my skill level. I don't skate where I can't reasonably control my speed. If there are intersections and driveways, I'll only skate there if I am confident that I can control the situation should a car pull out. I avoid skating on open roads with skaters who's skill levels, confidence, and responsibility I don't trust. I only push my limits at organised races on closed roads. I always wear safety gear, helmet in particular. And so I regard myself as being responsible when I skate - at least as responsible as your average driver/cyclist. Was Carlo skating safely? I have no idea. But myself and other veterans try to share this outlook with the others.

  • eon.engelbrecht - 2012-03-20 10:32

    He really had an 'on-edge' feeling of adrenalin right there, it is priceless. Sometimes, one has to do something and no matter how big the risk, it has to be done. Sometimes it costs a life... like in this case, which I am very sad about.

      Chris - 2012-03-20 10:51

      What a load of crap ... jump out of an aircraft if you need an adrenalin rush

  • looneylani - 2012-03-20 10:35

    Very sad! RIP mate!

  • Karen - 2012-03-20 10:35

    We have often come accross these guys on this very same pass - no closed lanes, no warnings to uncoming traffic - nothing - that so few of these "kids" have been killed is an absolute miracle - condolonces to family and friends - please take necessary steps and get the necessary authorisation to use these roads so proper measures are in place before you risk your own and motorists' lives!

  • Lynda - 2012-03-20 10:44

    Imagine how bad the truck driver feels even though it was nothing to do with his driving

  • Chris - 2012-03-20 10:44

    This craziness should be stopped immediately ..... this time it was just the skateboarder who died ..... a consequence of his own decision. The next time a driver could swerve to avoid these clowns and go over the side of the pass killing himself and his family, perhaps .... or he could hit someone on a motorbike and kill him for sure. This skateboarding on a national road is irresponsible madness.

  • Abdul - 2012-03-20 10:46

    Why would anyine want to skateboard on a public road....and one with bends at beyond me!!!!!!!go take a look at fatalmoves dot com

  • Quincy - 2012-03-20 10:47

    to all those with negative comments - you dont understand the sport. It is a sport just like any other, the only problem is there is no real place to pursue the sport but on the roads. This isnt ideal but we take the utmost safety precautions when it comes to cars, and stick to seriously quiet roads. Accidents do happen and it is very unfortunate for this young man, but banning a sport because a guy passes away is not logical. By that process we should ban motor racing, boxing, cycling, sky diving and many more. and just so people know, some of us use longboards as transport, you wanna ban my use of transport now too?? Get lost.

      Lorenzo - 2012-03-20 11:02

      @ Quincy - Yeah you are right, I don’t think the sport should be banned or anything dumb like that. I love extreme sports, but I’d rather Sky Dive. It feels safer. This is just stupid racing down a road that has cars on it. Also… you use a long board as your main form of transport? That’s a bit weird… so how do you get up hills? You walk? And if you went shopping, where do you put your packets? lol

      Megan - 2012-03-20 11:07

      Quincy, I completely agree with you in that this incident should not be a reason to ban the sport. I also completely agree that skateboarding in any form is considered an extreme sport. I disagree with the over-emotional responses from people when someone loses their life in this way. Every single person who participates in extreme sports does so with the full knowledge that if it were to go wrong they're either going to be dead or in some serious amount of pain. I can sympathise with his family, girlfriend and friends because losing someone you love, regardless of the circumstances is hard. What makes me VERY angry is this particular incident was completely irresponsible. Not only did he lose his life, but he has also caused undue suffering on someone who now has to spend the rest of his life knowing that he killed someone when all he was trying to do was earn a days living. That is not fair and I think it is incredibly selfish of those involved to not think of the consequences. If this particular skater had come round a bend, mis-judged his turn and crashed at 50-60km/h into a solid rock wall, well then sad story, sorry for him - accidents happen. It just seems, especially from some of the comments from people claiming to be his friends on the previous article, that they fully believed they had every right to be there. It just shows the complete disregard and lack of respect for others.

      Mark - 2012-03-20 11:07

      @Quincy - Your answer is very juvenile. Hurtling down a public road at speed, with poor steering and poor to no brakes, is not only reckless but really stupid. By the way, people who do motor racing do it on a dedicated racing circuit where they can't end up injuring or killing private citizens.

      Quincy - 2012-03-20 11:08

      I guess people without cars are physically unable to make it to shopping centres and grocery stores

      Quincy - 2012-03-20 11:15

      I agree it is sad that other peoples lives were in danger, and the driver of the vehicle must be quite shaken up, but people who dont skateboard at all now have a negative attitude towards others who skate and are constantly going to project that attitude

      Megan - 2012-03-20 11:46

      Of course people are going to project that attitude when things like this happen. It's a fairly normal response. This whole thing happened because of completely irresponsible behaviour, and reckless acts like this are going to turn people against the sport. If I was an avid skater (I'm not because my balance sucks!) I would be lank peeved about this incident because next time proper event organisers attempt to hold a downhill skating event in an area like this, people ARE going to be against it because of this kind of accident. The whole thing just seems so unnecessary and stuff like this is not fair on either other road users or other sporting enthusiasts (like yourself) who feel that the negative attitude surrounding this is being directed at the sport itself, and not the people who TOTALLY failed to take the consequences into account.

      alexastorm - 2012-03-20 12:09

      @Mark - So you're stating that Motor vehicle accidents do not occur on a regular basis? Please compare the amount of fatal skating accidents compared to fatal Motor vehicle accidents... Car and motorbike accidents occur on a daily basis!

      gwareley - 2012-03-20 15:52

      Quincy i agree with you. I too use my board to travel from and to work. 20km in total. The sad thing is that the municipality is showing very little interest in alternative ways of life. Graffiti for one. Look at the by law passed recently. Before it was passed they told the graffiti writers that they would supply them with walls to paint. Much like the one in Joburg on Jan smuts where they paint that wall white when its full. People who own cars will ALWAYS complain about anything else on the roads but themselves be it bicycles, motorbikes or skateboards. Anything else besides cars on the roads are labeled as "reckless". Longboarding is a sport that had been around in this city for over a decade. They way I see it is that if the municipality is not making money out of what you doing, they aren't interested in helping you. Look at the when the BRT lane was made, 2010, why because they would make money out of the world cup and had to make sure that the infrastructure had to be in place.What will it take? Protest? Do we as South Africans always have to refer back to protesting in order to be heard or taken seriously? @Lorenzo - "That’s a bit weird… so how do you get up hills? You walk? And if you went shopping, where do you put your packets? lol" I skate uphill, to the shop, anywhere really, clearly you dont know what a longboard is capable of doing and what a joy it is to have one. Someone died, forgive me for expecting a bit more compassion. RIP Rider

  • Ludwig - 2012-03-20 10:58

    Evolution by natural selection is a process. Feel sorry for the truck driver.

      Sandy - 2012-03-20 14:03

      You insensitive prick!! Have you no respect for his family and friends???

      Ludwig - 2012-03-20 17:21

      Did he had respect for other road users or his family and friends?

  • alexastorm - 2012-03-20 11:06

    As one of Carlito Trancosos' friends stated Carlito was an inexperienced longboarder. I agree that they should have definitely been far more cautious, especially since Carlito was not an experienced skater and he attempted to skate a road that he had no further knowledge of. What occurred during Monday is a rare incident, and is avoidable if the correct precautions are taken. The majority of longboarders are aware of the safety risks and understand that they should only skate an unfamiliar road if they are with more experienced skaters who are knowledgeable of certain roads. It is unfair to state that skating is nonsense, and that it should be banned. Skating is an EXTREME sport and just because one being was not cautious does not mean the sport should be blamed for his ignorance. There are many longboarding groups upon the internet constantly instigating the importance of safety and awareness of the sport. I believe longboarders or skaters in general deserve more respect... R.I.P fellow skating brothah. May you continue to skate the asphalt waves wherever your soul has transmigrated to. Blessed

  • Marion - 2012-03-20 12:03

    My son is a beginner skater (not longboard) and I am constantly plagued by fear that he will do something stupid in the face of traffic. Unfortunately there are limited skating facilities in and around Johannesburg so the kids all skate on the roads. Scary.

  • Marié - 2012-03-20 12:56

    Obviously these commentators here does not have a son doing longboard downhill skating. It is called an extreme sport for a reason and involved high intelligence and constant concentration for every little difference in the road. These guys are the most responsible guys in sport, because they are very very aware of the danger. They are actually better controlled than bikers (who die regulary on the roads) and cyclists (who also die regulary on the roads). The vehicles are long time not the only users of the road and must get used to the idea of taking into consideration that bikes, cyclist and longboarders my also be on the road.To control a longboard at 110km an hour (which is the speed they reach on Franschhoek pass frontside) takes long hours of practice and lots of knowledge and skill.

  • Sandy - 2012-03-20 13:41

    I feel ill reading some of these comments, my son was one of the skaters with Carlito at the time and if you lot knew what he was going through right now you would hang your heads in shame. How dare you pass judgement, who the hell do you think you are?! This was a tragic tragic accident and a very special person lost his life. How about a little respect. Quincy you absolute pratt - do you really think they planned on something like this happening, think before you open your mouth! As the mother of a longboarder I feel for his family and out of respect for them and his friends, I think you should all withhold your judgemental and virtuous comments and rather post something positive and sensitive for those who knew him and the chaps with him at the time - they are going through their own hell right now.

  • dongaddin - 2012-03-20 14:07

    I feel ashamed for the people on this page who, based on a few lines of an article, can make such outrageous statements! Carlito died in my best friend's arms - you have no idea what he is going through having to deal with this and how he felt this morning when he had to wake up to the pure reality of what happened yesterday. All three guys that were there are truly fantastic people! I had the great pleasure of meeting Carlito last week when we had dinner to discuss safety before they left. I am really sorry that I will never be able to see him again. Safety is the first priority for these guys, as a sponsor, it is my first priority too. This was a deeply tragic accident that has left many people very sad. If you have nothing positive and constructive to say then don't bother posting your rubbish - littering the internet with your naivety and mislead assumptions!

  • kpacesa - 2012-03-20 14:09

    My son is a skater and I have to constantly hide my angst every time he heads out. Even with all the protective gear, hitting a car will stop you dead. The sport must be limited to closed roads.

      rlipner1 - 2012-03-20 16:45

      i am a mother of a long boarder too, if we could get roads closed even once a month for them to practice, that would be great, but i tell you, i cannot for the life of me find the right person to speak to!!! Any advice on this matter would be appreciated....

  • dongaddin - 2012-03-20 14:12

    Rest in peace Carlito, I'm sorry I could not get to know you better. To the Trancoso Family, my sincerest condolences... I'm deeply sorry for your loss.

  • reasons101 - 2012-03-20 15:43

    Dear all the haters, Downhill longboarding is an extreme sport. It is a dangerous sport and the people that choose to practice the sport know and understand the risks. Like any other extreme sport (rock climbing, base jumping, downhill mountainbiking etc etc) the individuals taking part do the utmost best to limit the risks involved. The sad fact, however, is that most extreme sports are in no way catered for in South Africa. There are a very limited amount of controlled environments for these adrenaline junkies to do their thing and therefore they often have no choice but to pursue their passion in a public environment. Instead of shunning them for simply being passionate about something that isn't rugby (which by the way, teenage kids tend to break their necks and backs VERY often whilst playing), why not be a little pro-active in trying to help the extreme sports community in organising more available space to practice their chosen sport? Just a thought from an extreme sports addict. Cheers.

  • Robyn Lipner - 2012-03-20 16:12

    I agree with reasons101. Well put!!!

  • Robyn Lipner - 2012-03-20 16:18

    Procold2- if they could practice in a "controlled" area don't you think they would, so instead of bitching about it try and find out who the people would be to speak to, to close the roads so they can!!!! Good luck with that!!!! Do your research first.

  • Kerry-Ann - 2012-03-20 18:15

    Before people want to make nasty comments, that is soomeons loved one that you're all talking about and judging! Doing a sport or anything that you love doesn't make you irresponsible! He died doing something he loved. Regardless of how careful you are with anything, accidents still happen. Just shows how ignorant most of you are!!

  • Sandy - 2012-03-21 08:03

    STOP PEOPLE FOR GOODNESS' SAKE!!! What is wrong with you all? Find the good side of your human nature again, only post condolence comments here - what has happened to the human race that we all feel the need to pass judgement in times like this rather than showing kindness and sympathy to those affected? We used to refer to Human Nature as something positive, lets find that again. Be nice - lose the nastiness, please?

  • Sandy - 2012-03-21 09:22

    Before any of you post another thing about this incident, first think of whether you would like your family or friends to read this if they were referring to your death? (And don't say you wouldn't do anything this extreme, never say never - just think first, and then pass your comments.)

  • Michelle - 2012-03-21 10:45

    carlos was definitely not a beginner, and he was very safety is a tragic loss. He was my friends boyfriend, and the most caring, loving person. If there was controlled areas to practice the sport, I guarantee they will utilize condolences to the family, carlos we love you , and we going to miss you.

  • Annika Gouws - 2012-03-21 16:20

    As a freeboarder we all understand the risks involved when we go out to \play\, we are a family and we take care of each other and losing Carlos is the worst thing that could hve happened, he was no beginner he was a champion, humble and kind, love and support goes out to his family and everyone who knew him. He will be dearly missed. It's a sad and shocking loss.

  • sarahclaireP - 2012-03-22 14:32

    Johnnie: what an ignorant comment, and an insult to all those who skate - including Carlito Trancoso. Cape Town city council: catch a wake up and start investing money into the city - into its people - and build a all-access, free public park. Maybe take some inspiration from these guys:

  • Brandon - 2012-04-08 12:04

    You dont just ban a sport because of a rugby kids break many people have died due to skydiving....hiking ...formula riding...hunting accidents its a sport like any other.i do agree that it should be practised in controlled conditions but banning it is just stupid......RIP Carlito

  • GarCullen - 2012-09-30 14:26

    To the family of condolences. One thing I've noticed by reading all of your comments and replies to comments is that none of it matters, what matters is that a guy lost his life doing what he enjoyed, with knowledge of the risks and outcomes of the sport. Everyone must see that you all have something in your life that you enjoy I right or wrong? If you die doing something you enjoy, it will be a tragedy just like carlos. It is unfair to the family to read such disgust but also people want to voice their opinion about events that happen to show they either like or dislike something. My advice to the family and friends of carlos is, you know who he really was and what he will always be no matter what people say about him. Remember that no-one can take that away from you. The human race is not for its lack of opinionated people who have not and probably will never experience something so tragic. I hope everyone understands at the least that all people need a sense of adventure and/or take risks at some point of their lives and we might die trying to achieve that fulfilment, but that is no reason to be disrespectful at the loss of a life where a man died fulfilling his. My girlfriend knew carlos and she regrets not getting in touch with him before this. I personaly didn't know him but I give him the respect of doing what he enjoy and for living his life how he wanted to. RIP Carlos

  • Layla Murray - 2013-07-14 12:28

    Carlos is my boyfriend, and all your pathetic comments are hurtful!! He wasn't a beginner in the sport, he knew exactly what he was and always wore protective first!!!! The guys were stoked to go skate on the pass as generally it's a quite road, what went wrong that day, we'll never know! So before you judge my boyfriend, look at yourself in the mirror: did you look both ways before you crossed the road?? Did you check all your blind spots before you changed lanes?? Did you check your parachute before you jumped out the aeroplane???? Sound silly?? It's the same thing, something that shouldn't have happened!!!! Love and respect to Craig, Dan and Steve who were with him that day.

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