Pastor knocked down on pavement

2020-03-02 14:23
Pastor Gareth Roberts.

Pastor Gareth Roberts.

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A pastor of One Life church, Gareth Roberts (44), was killed outside his home on Saturday morning when a vehicle lost control and struck him whilst he was tidying up the remains of a tree on his verge.

His distraught wife, Cheryl, told The Witness on Sunday her husband had been clearing up the sawn-up trunk and branches of a tree that had fallen as a result of recent heavy storms when the car, allegedly speeding along Golf Road, apparently veered out of control and hit him.

Cheryl said she immediately rushed outside and found her husband lying on the side of the road.

He died at the scene.

“It was traumatic. I am a nurse, so I was quick to realise that I had lost him,” she said tearfully.

The couple were married for 22 years and raised three children together; Christine (17) and twin boys Michael and Matthew (14).

Cheryl said one of the twins was also outside when the accident happened, and he was traumatised by the sudden death of his father.

“Fortunately, he didn’t see the actual accident happen because he was in the yard. He is shattered,” said Cheryl.

Cheryl said her late husband was a man who had a strong impact on the lives of everyone he met. She said he loved being around people, and he adored his church. He was employed at Master Builders in the city for 14 years.

A cross was erected by a neighbour at the accident scene where Gareth Roberts was killed on Saturday. 

“He always wanted to help where he could, and wanted to solve everyone’s problems,” said Cheryl.

She said Gareth was always thinking “out of the box” and was proactive.

“Gareth could never stay still for too long” she added.

His mother, Kathy, described Gareth as an amazing father. “Before being a dad, he was a friend to his children. They adored him,” said Kathy.

She added that her son had enjoyed running to keep fit and took part in the Comrades Marathon.

“He didn’t make it to the finish line though,” she laughed.

His father, Frank, struggled to find the best words to describe his son but then said: “He was an incredible son. I was always so proud of him, and I will miss him dearly.”

A close friend, Ryan Calder, told The Witness that no one knows exactly how the accident happened and they will wait for the police investigation to be completed.

“He [Gareth] was a committed family man who loved his children. He was a very giving person,” he added.

Funeral arrangements had not been finalised on Sunday.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said on Sunday that the police are still looking into the circumstances of the accident and are investigating a case of culpable homicide.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pedestrian killed

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