Hit-and-run driver sought after businessman’s death

2016-03-01 13:33
Well-known Libra Motors owner Lorenzo Franceschi was killed on Saturday morning after a vehicle crashed into him while he was riding his motorbike.

Well-known Libra Motors owner Lorenzo Franceschi was killed on Saturday morning after a vehicle crashed into him while he was riding his motorbike. (Facebook)

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Pietermaritzburg - The search is on for the driver of the vehicle that knocked down and killed well-known Pietermaritzburg Libra Motors owner Lorenzo Franceschi on Saturday.

Franceschi (62) was on his motorbike when it is believed a car hit him at the intersection of Peter Kerchhoff (Chapel) and Jabu Ndlovu (Loop) streets.

It is alleged that Franceschi was flung from his bike, which the car then dragged for some distance.

The driver then extricated the bike from under the car and sped off, leaving Franceschi’s body at the roadside.

Franceschi’s only son, Giovanni (19), said he was “devastated” at the loss of his father and that he “would not stop” until he found the person “who did this to my dad”.

“My dad was very well known in Pietermaritzburg because of his shop and everyone liked him,” he said.

“He was always happy, always willing to help and everyone wanted to be around him.”

Giovanni said his dad was born in Italy but his family moved to Zimbabwe when he was 14.

“When he was 20, he got an apprenticeship as a mechanic in Pietermaritzburg and has been living here for over 40 years,” he said.

“I can’t eat and I can’t sleep. I just want to know what happened and find the person who did this.

“My family is really not taking it well, and it has affected my gran’s health.”

Tributes poured in for Franceschi on Facebook, with people remembering the kind-hearted man who had been full of life.

“I had the most devastating news this morning. My special friend was killed last night. Lorenzo Franceschi I’m going to miss you so much. R I P my loving friend. What a super person. Always friendly, never complained. And I loved that little grin he had. My condolences to the family and God bless,” said Facebook user Jenny Mumford.

“What an incredible man. He was a great friend and father to Giovanni Franceschi and a father figure to all. We will miss him dearly. Ride free with angels my dear friend. RIP,” said Sonja Herholdt.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said cases of reckless and negligent driving, and culpable homicide had been opened.

He said no arrests had been made yet.

Anyone with information on the incident should contact Ngobese at 082 826 8954.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  murder

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